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Female Staffer Who Accused Chris Matthews of Sexual Harassment Received Severance From NBC

Chris MatthewsTime 100 Gala, New York, America - 29 Apr 2014
Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock

A female staffer was paid severance by NBC after accusing Chris Matthews of sexual harassment,Variety has confirmed.

The woman was an assistant producer on “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” according to the Daily Caller, who first reported the news, and complained that Matthews made inappropriate comments and jokes about her in front of other people.

The Daily Caller cited two sources who said that the payment was $40,000 and was intended as a settlement, but sources disputed the number, saying it was actually much lower and was part of a severance package.

According to an MSNBC spokesperson, the company thoroughly reviewed the situation at the time and Matthews received a formal reprimand. After investigating the claim, it was concluded that though the comments were inappropriate, they were not intended as propositions. MSNBC declined to release any further information about the claimant, citing confidentiality, so it is unclear whether her departure from the company was related to the sexual harassment claim.

Matthews has been the host of “Hardball” since 1997 and hosted “The Chris Matthews Show” from 2002 to 2013.

The news is the latest in a series of media power players or executives who have been accused of sexual misconduct of varying natures. Variety exclusively reported the accusations of inappropriate behavior from several women against Matt Lauer. Lauer was fired from his role on “Today” as the result of a detailed complaint from a current NBC employee about inappropriate sexual conduct that began at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and continued for several months.

Other high-profile media men to have been accused in recent months include Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, and PBS host Tavis Smiley.