Former NBC News war correspondent Linda Vester alleges Brokaw made unwanted sexual advances toward her, including arriving at her hotel room uninvited and trying to kiss her in 1994. A year prior, Vester said Brokaw groped her in a conference room when he walked in and grabbed her from behind and tickled her waist.
“Nobody acted like anything wrong was happening, but I was humiliated,” she said in an interview with Variety.
Vester did not report any of the alleged incidents to NBC News management but told Variety she is coming forward now to show that the network has had a workplace culture problem long before “Today” host Matt Lauer was fired over sexual misconduct allegations in November.
NBC News personality Hoda Kotb replaced Lauer and joined Savannah Guthrie as the co-host of “Today,” a move Brokaw called “historic and so deserved.”
Another woman, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity, said Brokaw approached her in a hallway in the mid-’90s when she was a 24-year-old production assistant and took her hands in his and put them on his chest. He invited her to his office to talk about her career, an invitation she said implied more. She did not go to his office and did not report the incident before leaving the network.
Brokaw, 78, was the managing editor and anchor of “NBC Nightly News” for 22 years, from 1983 through 2004. Prior to anchoring “Nightly News,” Brokaw hosted “Today” from 1976 to 1982. He served as a substitute host for “Meet the Press” after leaving “NBC Nightly News,” and he still contributes to coverage on the network, carrying the title of special correspondent. Most recently, he contributed to NBC’s coverage of former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral.
Brokaw denied any wrongdoing in statements provided to the Post and Variety. He said no incident with the production assistant had ever occurred. He denied making “romantic overtures” toward Vester.
“I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC,” he said. “The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her at that time or any other.”
The Post also reported new allegations against Lauer, including one woman saying the former broadcaster “exposed himself in his office and asked her to touch him.” Another woman said Lauer had sex with her in the middle of the day in his office. Neither incident was reported to NBC News management. Lauer told the Post that “any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false.”
Several high-profile men in the media, including Lauer and former CBS and PBS newsman Charlie Rose, have been accused of sexual harassment as women have come forward with allegations ranging from unwanted sexual advances to sexual assault.
NBC News has not responded to HuffPost’s request for comment.