Tom Brokaw Replaced As Graduation Speaker After Allegations Surface


But it was published on Friday - an extraordinary defense of his character and a repudiation of the sexual harassment allegations made by former NBC colleague Linda Vester.

She told The Washington Post and Variety magazine that Brokaw, 26 years her elder, forcibly tried to kiss her twice in 1994 and 1995, while he was NBC's star anchor.

"I was groped and assaulted by Tom Brokaw, then the anchor of 'NBC Nightly News, '" Vester said in a video interview with Variety.

Ms. Vester told the Washington Post and Variety that she was compelled to come forward all these years later because NBC hasn't hired outside counsel to investigate sexual misconduct in the news division-which in her view meant it wasn't taking it seriously enough. "Nevertheless I wish to make it completely clear that any allegations or reviews of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my half, at any time, are completely false", he concluded.

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".

Vester was a correspondent and anchor at NBC until 1999, when she moved to Fox News.

Another woman, who spoke on the condition of remaining anonymous, told The Washington Post Brokaw acted inappropriately toward her in the '90s when she was a production assistant.

A group of 65 women in the television industry have circulated a letter in support of NBC's Tom Brokaw after he was accused by a former colleague of unwanted sexual advances. The Post said neither woman reported their allegations to NBC at the time.

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According to TMZ, Brokaw said today is the first day of his new life as an accused predator.

At one point, she said, Brokaw put his hand behind her neck and gripped her head.

"He was the most powerful man at the network, and I was the most junior person", she said. "My NBC colleagues are bewildered that Vester, who had limited success at NBC News, a modest career at Fox and a reputation as a colleague who had trouble with the truth was suddenly the keeper of the flame of journalistic integrity". Hard to believe it wasn't much more Look At Me than Me:Too.I am proud of who I am as a husband, father, grandfather, journalist and citizen. "It can torpedo your career". Since 2004, he has been a special correspondent contributing to special-event coverage and appearing in documentaries and specials. He has been married since 1962.

The allegation against Mr. Brokaw comes as NBC News, a division of Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal, is still reeling from the exit of Matt Lauer, who was sacked in November as lead anchor of its morning show "Today" after a network staffer accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior.

Brokaw joined NBC News in 1966 as an anchor at the network's Los Angeles TV station, KNBC.

Lack said in his memo on Friday that the "review is nearing its conclusion".

Vester told the Post she chose to come forward with the allegations out of her belief that NBC News has failed to effectively investigate harassment issues at the company following the Lauer firing.