NBC paid out severance to staffer who accused Chris Matthews of sexual harassment

NBC paid out severance to staffer who accused Chris Matthews of sexual harassment
© Greg Nash

A former MSNBC employee who accused host Chris Matthews of sexual harassment in 1999 was given a separation payment by the network, according to a report by The Daily Caller.

Two sources told the Caller that a woman who was then an assistant producer on Matthews's show "Hardball with Chris Matthews" accused the longtime MSNBC host of making inappropriate comments about her while in the company of others. The sources say the company settled with the woman for $40,000.

However, MSNBC disputed the sources' claims. The network told The Daily Caller that the money was given as part of a severance package and the amount paid was "significantly less" than $40,000.

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A spokesman for MSNBC told the Caller that they "thoroughly reviewed" the situation and "formally reprimanded" Matthews, who has hosted "Hardball with Chris Matthews" since 1997. He also hosted "The Chris Matthews Show" on the network after the settlement, from 2002 to 2013.

News of Matthews's past allegations comes at a tumultuous time for NBC, which recently fired longtime "Today" show host Matt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd LauerNBC's 'Today' show surges in ratings after Lauer's departure Katie Couric breaks silence on Matt Lauer: Allegations ‘incredibly upsetting’ Halperin, Rose accusers form group to fight harassment in the media MORE after multiple accusations of sexual harassment.

MSNBC also cut ties with "Morning Joe" analyst and "Game Change" co-author Mark Halperin in October after a dozen women accused the veteran political journalist of sexual harassment or assault.