The Slatest

Rachel Maddow Joins More Than 60 Women Supporting Tom Brokaw Amid Harassment Claims

Tom Brokaw, NBC anchor and author, speaks at the American Visionary: John F. Kennedy's Life and Times debut gala at Smithsonian American Art Museum on May 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Tom Brokaw, NBC anchor and author, speaks at the American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times debut gala at Smithsonian American Art Museum on May 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

More than 60 women who currently or formerly worked at NBC have joined forces to sign a letter in support of NBC News veteran Tom Brokaw following sexual harassment allegations against him that were published by Variety and the Washington Post. Mika Brzezinski, Rachel Maddow, Maria Shriver, and Andrea Mitchell are just some of the dozens of women who endorsed a letter that supports Brokaw.

While the letter is careful to note that “as professional women, we fully endorse the conversation around abuse of power in the workplace” it goes on to say that “we would like to share our perspectives on working with Tom Brokaw.” Brokaw “has treated each of us with fairness and respect.” The women who signed the letter went on to note that Brokaw had given them opportunities to advance in their careers and “championed our successes.”

The letter was released after a former NBC News correspondent and a production assistant both claimed Brokaw had made unwanted sexual advances while they were just starting out in their careers at NBC in the 1990s. Former NBC News correspondent Linda Vester* said Brokaw “groped and assaulted” her and she suffered two “unwanted advances” from him.

Brokaw, 78, vehemently denied the accusations and later wrote a strongly worded letter that was sent to some of his NBC colleagues on Friday morning. “I was ambushed and then perp walked across the pages of the Washington Post and Variety as an avatar of male misogyny, taken to the guillotine and stripped of any honor and achievement I had earned in more than a half century of journalism and citizenship,” Brokaw wrote. The veteran journalist said Vestas sought him out “often … for informal meetings.” Brokaw, who retired as anchor and managing editor of NBC’s Nightly News in 2004 and is now a special correspondent, told CNN the letter was a “rough draft” and he “did not intend for it to be published in that form.”

Correction, April 29, 2018: This piece initially misspelled Linda Vester’s last name.