Tom Brokaw pens vicious attack on accuser

Tom Brokaw

Former "NBC Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw wrote an email to colleagues defending himself in the wake of sexual harassment allegations dating back to the 1990s, according to multiple reports.

A woman who worked as a war correspondent for NBC News told Variety and The Washington Post that Brokaw groped her and tried to forcibly kiss her in the 1990s.

Brokaw initially released a brief statement denying Vester's allegations on Thursday night before emailing a much lengthier rebuttal the following morning.

"I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, twenty three years ago because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC", Brokaw said in the statement.

The top executive at NBC News reiterated that the Comcast-owned operation takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously in the wake of charges levied by a former NBC News employee at legendary anchor Tom Brokaw, and signaled that a review of how the unit handled accusations made against former "Today" co-anchor Matt Lauer was nearing an end.

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 maintains that Vester initiated the NY hotel room meeting she described in the Post and Variety interviews.

NBC News said late a year ago that it was launching a probe into Mr. Lauer's behavior during his long tenure at the network.

In the letter, which was sent to several colleagues, Brokaw said Vester is a "character assassin" with a "grudge against NBC News". But when he got in trouble on sexual matters, not a peep from this woman who now describes her self as the keeper of the flame for Me:Too. She said he tried to kiss her one other time at her apartment in London and once grabbed her from behind and tickled her on her waist. She wrote, "I said 'Tom". "She was coy, not frightened, filled with office gossip, including a recent rumor of an affair".

In the letter, Brokaw said "I am not a flawless person".

Vester was 28 years old, about 30 years younger than Mr. Brokaw.

He concluded his email by writing that he is "proud of who I am as a husband, father, grandfather, journalist and citizen".

A group of more than 60 women who say they are current and former colleagues of Mr. Brokaw, including some prominent network personalities such as Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Maria Shriver and Stephanie Ruhle, penned a letter on Friday in support of the news anchor.

In 2013, Brokaw was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable form of blood cancer, but has continued to work.

NBC sacked Matt Lauer, the host of its flagship "Today" program last November.

Vester told The Post that she came forward because "NBC has failed to hire outside counsel to investigate a genuine, long-standing problem of sexual misconduct in the news division".

NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack briefly addressed the accusations in a memo to employees Friday - adding that the company's review into workplace harassment sparked by the Lauer scandal was now winding down.

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