NBC News veteran Tom Brokaw released a blistering defense of himself to colleagues on Friday, denying accusations of sexual misconduct in the '90s and painting the woman who accused him as a disappointed journalist and an attention seeker.
The email, which was sent out to NBC colleagues and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, comes a day after former NBC reporter Linda Vester detailed her allegations to both the Washington Post and Variety. She accused Brokaw of grabbing her from behind and tickling her waist in front of her colleagues in Denver, Colorado, and then a year later trying to forcibly kiss her in her New York City hotel room.
In his message, Brokaw refers to Vester as "a former colleague who left NBC News angry that she had failed in her pursuit of stardom" who has leveled "unsubstantiated criticism and attacks."
Brokaw also addresses both alleged interactions with Vester, painting a different picture of what happened between the two. He mocks the tickling complaint, though he does not deny it. As for the hotel interaction, he claims, "She often sought me out for informal meetings, including the one she describes in her New York hotel room. 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."
He writes that he left that meeting without incident.
A year later, he says he agreed to her suggestion to talk more about her career at her apartment.
"As I got up to leave I may have leaned over for a perfunctory goodnight kiss, but my memory is that it happened at the door – on the cheek," he alleges. "No clenching her neck. That move she so vividly describes is NOT WHO I AM."
Brokaw claims that he even helped her get a job at Fox News and called into question her motives.
"Strip away all of the hyperbole and what has she achieved? What was her goal? Hard to believe it wasn’t much more Look At Me than Me:Too," he states.
He ends his message in part by citing his plans going forward.
"I deeply resent the pain and anger she inflicted on my wife, daughters and granddaughters - all women of considerable success and passion about women’s rights which they personify in their daily lives and professions," he shares. "We’ll go on as a family that pursues social justice in medical emergency rooms, corporate offices, social therapy, African women’s empowerment and journalism. And no one woman’s assault can take that away."
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