Brokaw denies allegations of sexual harassment: 'I was ambushed'

Brokaw denies allegations of sexual harassment: 'I was ambushed'
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Veteran NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw mounted a scorching denial of allegations that he made unwanted advances on a young colleague in the 1990s, claiming in an email to several NBC News employees that he had been "ambushed" by a public smear campaign.

"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 in the email, a copy of which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times.

He also, in the email, referred to the allegations as a "drive by shooting" and an "assault" by the woman who was named, former NBC News correspondent Linda Vester.

"What was her goal? Hard to believe it wasn't much more Look at Me than Me:Too," he wrote, referring to the movement against sexual harassment and assault.

"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, philanthropy and participation in environmental and social causes that have always given extra meaning to my life," he wrote.


Brokaw's email came a day after The Washington Post reported on allegations of sexual harassment against Brokaw by two women, including Vester.

In interviews with the Post and Variety, Vester described inappropriate encounters with Brokaw in the 1990s, including one in which he invited himself over to her hotel room while in New York then tried to kiss her.

She also recounted to Variety how Brokaw inappropriately touched her during an initial encounter in full view of other NBC News employees.

Brokaw denied Vester's accusations in a statement on Thursday, saying that he had only ever met her twice, and that both meetings were at her request.

"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 in a statement issued by NBC.

"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."

In his email to NBC News colleagues on Friday, Brokaw went after Vester personally, saying that she had "failed in her pursuit at stardom" and had a "reputation as a colleague who had trouble with the truth."

"She often sought me out for informal meetings, including the one she describes in her New York hotel room," Brokaw also said. "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 had told the Post that Brokaw told her he wanted "an affair of more than passing affection."