A former NBC News anchor says colleagues knew one-time “Today” host Matt Lauer was “dangerous” and he was to be “avoided at all costs.”
Linda Vester — who accused the network’s Tom Brokaw of sexual harassment last year — told Fox News on Wednesday that Lauer had a reputation for misconduct in the NBC office.
“There’s a problem with abuse of power at NBC News where people like Matt Lauer, people like Tom Brokaw, are enabled day after day by having so much power over women and the careers of women. It distorts them, frankly,” Vester told Fox News.
She called on NBC’s parent company Comcast to conduct a “real investigation” in the wake of Ronan Farrow’s explosive claims that the network was aware of Lauer’s behavior. Farrow’s new book reveals that Lauer anally raped colleague Brooke Nevils in a 2014 encounter that the ex-host insists was consensual.
“Ronan is reporting, among other things, that NBC apparently did know that Matt was a problem,” Vester said. “And let me tell you, from having worked at NBC News for nearly a decade, everybody knew.”
Though she didn’t witness any misbehavior by Lauer, Vester said that she’s not buying that higher-ups weren’t aware of his alleged transgressions.
“We all knew Matt was dangerous. He had to be avoided at all costs,” Vester said. “So for NBC executives to say they didn’t know — I have a hard time with that.”
Lauer has slammed the allegations in Farrow’s book as “dangerous and defamatory.”
The Peacock Network has stressed that they launched an internal probe into Lauer’s conduct by their own lawyers that cleared execs of any wrongdoing.
“It’s really hard to get the truth out when the company itself is having an internal investigation instead of outside independent investigators really being able to get to the bottom of things,” Vester said.
Vester — who retired from broadcasting in 2005 — came forward last year claiming that former newsman Brokaw forcibly kissed her two times in the ’90s.
Brokaw has denied the allegations, saying he never made any “romantic overtures towards” the former anchor.
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