Longtime NBC News journalist Tom Brokaw is rebutting allegations that he sexually harassed and tried to forcibly kiss a former colleague in the 1990s. He sent a lengthy letter to his former colleagues aggressively denying the accusations.
According to the letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter, Brokaw characterized the allegations as a “drive by shooting” on the part of Linda Vester, the former NBC correspondent who recently detailed her accusations to the Washington Post and Variety. He claimed Vester had a grudge against NBC News because she “failed in her pursuit of stardom” and called out the Post and Variety for being given “the run” by Vester.
“I am not a perfect person. I’ve made mistakes, personally and professionally. But as I write this at dawn on the morning after a drive by shooting by Vester, the Washington Post and Variety, I am stunned by the free ride given a woman with a grudge against NBC News, no distinctive credentials or issue passions while at Fox,” he wrote. “Strip away all of the hyperbole and what has she achieved? What was her goal? Hard to believe it wasn’t much more Look At Me than Me: Too.”
Vester detailed to the Washington Post and Variety allegations that Brokaw sexually harassed her and attempted to forcibly kiss her at least two times in the 1990s. Brokaw has denied the allegations and attempted to counter each of her claims in the letter he sent to NBC colleagues.
“As I remember, she was at one end of a sofa, I was at the other,” he wrote. “It was late and I had been up for 24 hours. As I got up to leave I may have leaned over for a perfunctory goodnight kiss but my memory is that it happened at the door – on the cheek. No clenching her neck. That move she so vividly describes is NOT WHO I AM. Not in high school, college or thereafter.”
A Catholic university has already replaced Brokaw as its commencement speaker, after Brokaw backed out when the allegations surfaced. Vester told the Post she came forward because she felt NBC failed to properly investigate harassment claims at the company after “Today” show star Matt Lauer was fired for sexual misconduct and alleged assault.
Read the full letter here.