New Details About Sexual Harassment Allegations Against NBC Anchor Tom Brokaw By Two Women

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Who Is Tom Brokaw? New Details About The NBC Anchor Accused Of Assault
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He has never been accused of sexual harassment before these alleged incidents.

NBC’s Tom Brokaw has been accused of sexual harassment by two women who claim he made unwanted advances toward them in the 1990s.

Former NBC correspondent Linda Vester, now 52, told Variety that the media personality forced her to kiss him, groped her, and came to her hotel room uninvited.

The harassment began when Brokaw tickled Vester “out of the blue.”

On another occasion, he messaged her to ask her for drinks. Vester was much younger than Brokaw, who was in his 50s at the time, and she responded with a joke, hinting that she was too young for him and not interested.

“I was trying to use humor to signal that I was not interested in whatever he was suggesting, so I wrote, ‘I only drink milk and cookies,’” she said. “It was the only thing I could think of at the moment, hoping it would jolt him into realizing that this was inappropriate and I was [nearly] 30 years younger than him.”

She received a call from Brokaw later that night. He told her he was coming to her hotel for milk and cookies.

Vester said she felt like she could not refuse out of fear for her career, so she let him in.

“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,” she recalled. “I could smell alcohol on his breath, but he was totally sober. He spoke clearly. He was in control of his faculties.”

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When she managed to pull away from Brokaw she told him she did not want to go down that road with him. As he was leaving, he tried to kiss her again, Vester told Variety.

The next year, it happened again. Vester alleged that Brokaw invited himself to her place and made another unwanted advance.

“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,” she said.

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At the time, Vester was the youngest correspondent at NBC and was afraid she would be fired if she accused Brokaw of sexual harassment.

“There was a culture at NBC News, in my experience, where women who raise questions about misconduct get labeled as troublemakers,” she said. “It can torpedo your career. I already knew that, so I didn’t want to make any trouble.”

Vester expressed her frustration with NBC for not investigating the company after Matt Lauer was fired.

“What Linda is doing, like others before her have done, is to give her truthful account in the hope that other women will not have to endure what she did,” Vester’s attorney, Ari Wilkenfeld, said. “Linda is literally seeking nothing for herself. She comes forward at her own expense and at her own peril. By her being willing to go on the record, perhaps this will embolden other brave women to tell their stories.”

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Wilkenfield previously represented one of the victims who accused Lauer of sexual harassment.

Brokaw denied the claims made by Vester.

“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,” Brokaw said in a statement supplied by an NBC spokesperson. “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.”

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Another woman alleged that Brokaw forced her to put her hands under his shirt when she was 24, The Washington Post reports.

The unnamed woman claimed he said her hands were cold and proceeded to force her “hands under his jacket and against his chest and pulled me in so close and asked me, 'How is your job search going?'”

According to her, Brokaw then asked, “Why don't you come into my office after the show and let's talk about it.”

She refused but never reported the incident to police or human resources for the same reasons Vester hadn’t.

“Even though I know I was not in any way at fault in what happened to me with Brokaw, I still suffered years of humiliation and isolation,” Vester said. “I really do hope that by me telling my story and by shining this light, Comcast will understand why it’s so essential to hire outside counsel to investigate this deeply rooted problem.”

Brokaw has never been publicly accused of sexual misconduct in his 50 years at NBC.

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