Brokaw Accuser Linda Vester Speaks Out on GMA: Some Harrassers ‘Can Look Like Cultural Icons’


Linda Vester, one of three women who have so far accused veteran journalist Tom Brokaw of sexual harassment, spoke out Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America — revealing further damning details about the alleged workplace culture inside Rockefeller Center, and what she believes must be done in the wake of these stunning allegations.

Vester told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that she was surprised by part of Brokaw’s response to the allegations. Specifically, she said, Brokaw’s personal attacks on his accusers were unexpected.

“I expected a denial. That is what harassers generally do. What I didn’t expect was such a personal attack and what I’m concerned about is the message that that sends inside NBC News about whether or not they are safe to report someone who is powerful if they get that kind of backlash,” Vester said.

Stephanopoulos noted that Brokaw took issue with how Vester remembered the encounters. Vester pushed back Thursday morning, saying that her “memory of those incidents is crystal clear.”

“Why not at the time say something to others at NBC in management?” Stephanopoulos asked.

Vester replied by saying that while NBC News did have a human resources department, “HR was not considered in any way a place where you could go with a complaint about sexual harassment.”

“It was considered a place where you went if your paycheck went to the wrong address. And so for many reasons I felt it was unsafe to go to NBC and I never felt safe at NBC again,” Vester said.

As for the multiple women who currently work at NBC News and who have defended Brokaw, Vester said it “would be really helpful is if those women – the high-profile women, especially – would collectively use their voices to call on NBC Universal to hire outside counsel to really get to the bottom of this longstanding, widespread problem of sexual misconduct by multiple men in the power structure at NBC News.”

Multiple high profile women at NBC News, including Andrea Mitchell and Rachel Maddow, have defended Brokaw. Specifically, Mitchell and Maddow were two of the women who signed a letter, commending Brokaw’s character: “We know him to be a man of tremendous decency and integrity.”

Vester pushed back against the defense of Brokaw on Thursday, telling ABC: “Some people might be tempted to believe that all harassers look and act like Harvey Weinstein. It’s not true.”

“Some of them can look like cultural icons like Tom Brokaw and they can be decent during the day to a lot of people and actually be really kind a lot of the time and yet still have hidden behavior,” Vester said.

[image via screengrab]

>>>Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: