Former “Today” host Tamron Hall said that she called Harvey Weinstein at 5 a.m. after decades of sexual harassment allegations were reported by The New York Times last week and that she is now speaking with her agents about next steps on the development deal she signed with The Weinstein Co. for a daytime talk show.
In an exclusive interview with HuffPost, Hall said she was in her home state of Texas visiting Safe Haven Shelter for Women when she found out about the Times exposé, and said she found the allegations and what Weinstein admitted to directly to be “horrifying.”
“It’s a woman’s worst nightmare to be in a situation where you believe someone more powerful has control over your life,” Hall said. “I immediately thought about the women who have suffered in silence and were paralyzed by fear; fear that I’ve seen with domestic violence survivors; fear that I’ve seen when I interviewed women who were raped on their college campuses.”
Hall said she first got to know Weinstein last February shortly after she decided to leave NBC and MSNBC when they announced that they were replacing her and Al Roker with Megyn Kelly for the third hour of the “Today” show. While Weinstein never behaved inappropriately with her, Hall said the only thing that matters is what he has admitted to doing and what his women accusers have said.
Hall spoke to Weinstein at 5 a.m. the morning after the Times story came out and confronted him with the allegations and his admission, she said. She described her approach to Weinstein in the call as one of “take no prisoners.” And while Weinstein apologized to her and told her he needed help, Hall is now working with her agents to figure out next steps on a talk show development deal she signed with The Weinstein Co. three months ago.
She said that even though Weinstein has been fired from the company he founded, that’s not enough to assuage her outstanding concerns.
Hall herself is familiar with violence against women.
In 2004, her sister Renate was murdered in what remains an unsolved murder. And as the host of “Deadline Crime” on Investigation Discovery, Hall chronicles the stories of crimes against women.
“I spent the summer talking to young girls raped on their college campus. They don’t have money or access. They were yelling into the wind with no one listening,” Hall said.
“I hope today they are comforted by Ashley, Rose, Lauren, Asia, and Mira [some of Weinstein’s accusers], women who from the outside have everything but inside behind the closed doors suffered in silence,” she added.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that “Deadline Crime” was on TLC.