Review of Lauer scandal near completion — NBC's Lack

Hugh Fox
April 29, 2018

Bowyer previously worked for Brokaw and NBC News producing the "Tom Brokaw Reports" documentary series.

So began a statement the legendary NBC News anchor emailed to a select group of people Friday morning and later released to the Los Angeles Times.

Savannah Guthrie anchored tonight's newscast, filling in for Lester Holt, with Kate Snow reporting on their longtime colleague.

On Thursday, Variety and the Washington Post published stories in which Brokaw was accused of sexually harassing an NBC News journalist in the 1990s.

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Another woman, who was not identified, made similar claims about Brokaw to the Post. Variety ran a video interview with Vester that included some incidents not reported by The Post.

Ms. Vester's attorney, Ari Wilkenfeld, said, "My client stands by the allegations, which speak for themselves". She said that once in a hallway in the mid-1990s, Brokaw approached her in a small enclave, commented that her hands were cold, then put her hands under his jacket against him and pulled her in close.

In an email to friends and colleagues on Friday, Mr. Brokaw, who anchored "Nightly News" for more than two decades and now is a special correspondent with the network, confirmed he went to her hotel.

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On Friday, Brokaw sent a letter to NBC colleagues denying the allegations raised by Linda Vester, calling them "a drive-by shooting" and saying that Vester had a reputation for having "trouble with the truth".

But he said he "did not verbally and physically attack her" as described in the interviews. "So I left, 23 years later to be stunned by her melodramatic description of the meeting". He asked her how her job search was going, she said, and then asked her to come to his office for coffee later to talk about it.

Brokaw said that the accuser, Linda Vester, often sought him out on informal meetings, including the one she described in her NY hotel room. "Instead she became a character assassin".

Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Maria Shriver and Kelly O'Donnell and more than 60 other women have voiced their support for Tom Brokaw in the wake of sexual harassment allegations leveled against the NBC News veteran.

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University president John Petillo says he respects and agrees with Brokaw's decision to keep the focus on students at the May 13 ceremony. He also added that an internal review launched by NBC Universal in the wake of Matt Lauer's firing was nearing its conclusion and that he could share findings with employees "as soon as next week".

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