Matt Lauer Speaks Out to Deny Sexual Harrassment Allegations Against Him

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw

Both the Washington Post and Variety delivered explosive reports Thursday that described NBC News as nurturing a toxic culture of sexism and harassment that protected former "Today" star Matt Lauer for years as he pursued sexual relationships with female subordinates.

Tom Brokaw says he did not intend for this "rough draft" of a letter to be widely read.

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.

Ms. Vester's attorney, Ari Wilkenfeld, said, "My client stands by the allegations, which speak for themselves".

"Instead I am facing a long list of grievances from a former colleague who left NBC News angry that she had failed in her pursuit of stardom", he wrote.

In the letter, sent Friday, current and former colleagues of the NBC News special correspondent write that "Tom has treated each of us with fairness and respect".

She said Brokaw went to her NY hotel room once in the mid-1990s, proposed an affair and tried to forcibly kiss her.

"She has unleashed a torrent of unsubstantiated criticism and attacks on me more than twenty years after I opened the door for her and a new job at Fox News", Brokaw said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by CNNMoney. In it, he said, "I was ambushed and then perp walked across the pages of The Washington Post and Variety ... taken to the guillotine and stripped of any honor and achievement I had earned in more than a half century of journalism and citizenship".

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She told Variety that despite not being at fault, she "suffered years of humiliation and isolation" from the incidents.

NBC News fired Lauer in November after another staffer complained about his inappropriate conduct starting at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

In a memo to staff on Friday, NBC News President Andrew Lack repeated that Brokaw "emphatically denies" the allegations.

Vester alleged that on one occasion when she was visiting Denver to cover the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1993, Brokaw approached her from behind and acted inappropriately. She also mentioned she was Catholic as a way of rebuffing his advances.

In an interview with "CBS This Morning" in January, Curry said "verbal sexual harassment" was pervasive at the "Today" show.

Vester said that "no one did a thing", and "there was nothing I could really do or say because I was so low on the totem pole". He also said it was he who helped her land a job at Fox News by placing a call to Roger Ailes, the late chief executive of the network. "Not in high school, college or thereafter".

Vester was a correspondent and anchor at NBC until 1999, when she moved to Fox News. Two friends who Vester told at the time corroborated her story with Variety, and she shared her journal entries from the time period.

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