A former MSNBC employee was given separation compensation after accusing host Chris Matthews of making inappropriate jokes and comments about her in 1999, which according to one report were sexual in nature.
The Daily Caller, citing two sources familiar with the situation, reported on Saturday that the unidentified woman was paid $40,000 after making a sexual harassment complaint against Matthews while working as an assistant producer on his show, “Hardball With Chris Matthews.”
An MSNBC spokesperson, in a statement to HuffPost on Sunday, confirmed that a complaint was made against Matthews, now 72, to CNBC executives at the time.
The incident was reviewed and Matthews was formally reprimanded for comments that were deemed inappropriate and juvenile, based on discussions with individuals involved in the matter. His words, which were made in front of others, were not intended as propositions to her, the spokesperson added.
The woman received an undisclosed separation-related compensation, the spokesperson said. They declined to elaborate further, citing confidentiality reasons.
The Daily Caller also reported that a spokesperson for the news network said the woman’s payment was far less than $40,000. Since leaving MSNBC, she has gone on to work in a number of high-profile media positions.
Matthews has been the host of “Hard Ball” in Washington, D.C., since 1997. He also hosted “The Chris Matthews Show” from 2002 to 2013.
The allegations follow a number of sexual harassment claims against top media figures, including Matt Lauer of NBC’s “Today Show,” Mark Halperin, who served as a senior political analyst for MSNBC, former PBS host Charlie Rose, and former NPR editor Michael Oreske.