Linda Vester, the former NBC News anchor who accused Tom Brokaw of sexual harassment, says network executives knew former Today host Matt Lauer was “dangerous” even before allegations that he raped a co-worker at the Sochi Olympics.
Vester recently appeared on Fox News, where she also once hosted a show, to say that NBC had “enabled” alleged abusers instead of taking any meaningful steps to curtail the abuse:
“There’s a problem with abuse of power at NBC News where people like Matt Lauer, people like Tom Brokaw, are enabled day after day by having so much power over women and the careers of women. It distorts them, frankly.”
Vester retired from Fox News in 2006 and worked for NBC long before the Sochi Olympics but says even during her tenure at the network, she had been warned by a whisper network to avoid Lauer:
“Let me tell you, from having worked at NBC News for nearly a decade, everybody knew...We all knew Matt was dangerous. He had to be avoided at all costs,” Vester said. “So for NBC executives to say they didn’t know — I have a hard time with that.”
Vester, who claims Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw forcibly kissed her twice and groped her when she worked for the network in the 90s, also thinks the network’s “internal investigation” led by its own lawyers was simply a smokescreen to protect its executives:
“It’s really hard to get the truth out when the company itself is having an internal investigation instead of outside independent investigators really being able to get to the bottom of things,” Vester said.
Lauer, Brokaw, and pretty much every other man accused of any impropriety in Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill deny the allegations. On Monday, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim released an angry letter insisting that the network has “no secrets and nothing to hide,” which is generally what men say right before we find out they did something horrible.