Former NBC anchor Linda Vester says she was sexually harassed by Tom Brokaw, says a Variety report published on Thursday.
According to the female journalist — who left NBC in 1999 and began anchoring her own Fox News show through 2006 — the former NBC Nightly News anchor allegedly tried to kiss her on two separate occasions, groped her in an NBC conference room, and showed up to her hotel room uninvited.
Vester — who was 28 at the time of the alleged incident — didn’t report Brokaw to the police or NBC human resources because she feared it would tarnish her career.
In regards to the alleged assault in the NBC conference room, Vester recalls:
“We were in the Denver bureau, and there was a conference room. I’m standing there, and Tom Brokaw enters through the door and grabs me from behind and proceeds to tickle me up and down my waist… Nobody acted like anything wrong was happening, but I was humiliated. I didn’t know Brokaw other than to say hello in the hall. He was the most powerful man at the network, and I was the most junior person, reporting for an entirely different show. It was really out of the blue.”
During the first week of January in 1994, Brokaw allegedly showed up to her New York City hotel room. When the two sat on a sofa:
“He grabbed me behind my neck and tried to force me to kiss him. I was shocked to feel the amount of force and his full strength on me. I could smell alcohol on his breath, but he was totally sober. He spoke clearly. He was in control of his faculties. I broke away and stood up and said, ‘Tom, I do not want to do this with you.’… He sat there for what felt like minutes and he finally said, ‘I guess I should go.’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ And he got up and tried to kiss me again on the way out as he left.”‘
When she moved to London in 1995, she had another alleged encounter with Brokaw, who was there to cover Nightly News. When he “invited himself” to her flat:
“In the same exact way as in 1994, he reached behind my neck and tried to force my head toward him and force me to kiss him. I broke away again. I said, ‘You need to go.’ And incredibly, he said, ‘Can you walk me to a taxi?’ I thought, ‘You just tried to assault me, but you expect me to walk you to a taxi?”‘
In response, Brokaw released the following statement through an NBC News spokesman:
“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. 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.”
WATCH Linda tell her story (below):