(Reuters) - A woman who once worked as a war correspondent for NBC News has accused Tom Brokaw, the United States’ top-rated television newsman for much of his career, of sexual impropriety in the 1990s, the Washington Post and Variety reported on Thursday.
Brokaw, 78, denied the allegations to the publications in a statement issued by NBC News, which has also come under fire for its handling of staff complaints against former “Today” show host Matt Lauer.
Former NBC News correspondent Linda Vester told the publications Brokaw made unwanted advances toward her and tried to forcibly kiss her two separate times.
“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 the statement to the Washington Post. “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.”
NBC News did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Vester could not be reached for comment.
Vester, 52, told Variety and the Post that Brokaw made unwanted advances towards her in 1994 at her New York hotel room when she was 28 and again in 1995 at her London residence, where she was working for the network.
Brokaw anchored “NBC Nightly News” from 1982 to 2004. He has since served as a special correspondent.
Vester told Variety she did not report the alleged incidents to NBC human resources or police because she was fearful it would hurt her career.
Allegations of sexual misconduct by U.S. media personalities, politicians, business people and celebrities, inspired the #MeToo social movement by victims of sexual harassment or abuse.
Reporting by Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Michael Perry