NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw fired back at his accuser on Friday, a day after Variety and the Washington Post reported allegations that Brokaw made unwanted sexual advances to former NBC News anchor Linda Vester in the mid-1990s.
Brokaw wrote a blistering letter that was sent to some colleagues at NBC on Friday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I was ambushed and then perp walked across the pages of The Washington Post and Variety as an avatar of male misogyny, taken to the guillotine and stripped of any honor and achievement I had earned in more than a half century of journalism and citizenship,” Brokaw wrote. He details his response to Vester’s claims, saying that she “often” sought him out for informal meetings to ask for career advice.
In the latter, Brokaw vehemently denies Vester’s allegations that he tried to force her to kiss him on two occasions. He notes that she was had a reputation “as a colleague who had trouble with the truth” and asserted that Vester was the instigator of the two private meetings that she describes in her account to Variety and the Post.
At the second meeting in 1994, Vester alleges that Brokaw suggested that the two have an affair.
Of the two meetings Vester describes, Brokaw asserted: “I should not have gone but I emphatically did not verbally and physically attack her and suggest an affair in language right out of pulp fiction.”
Vester maintains that Brokaw at one point clutched the back of her neck in an effort to force her to kiss him. Brokaw denies this ever happened.
“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,” he wrote.
“I am angry, hurt and unmoored from what I thought would be the final passage of my life and career, a mix of written and broadcast journalism,” Brokaw wrote, adding “I am facing a long list of grievances from a former colleague who left NBC News angry that she had failed in her pursuit of stardom.”
“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 continued.
NBC News did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter or an inquiry about whether there has been any change in Brokaw’s status as a special correspondent for NBC News.
NBC News has been rocked amid the outpouring of sexual harassment allegations against prominent media and entertainment figures. In November, NBC News hastily fired longtime “Today” co-anchor Matt Lauer following an internal complaint against the anchor from a fellow staffer.
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