Brokaw said that the accuser, Linda Vester, often sought him out on informal meetings, including the one she described in her NY hotel room. He said no incident with the production assistant ever occurred, and he denied making "romantic overtures" toward Vester. "As I got up to leave I may have leaned over for a perfunctory good night kiss but my memory is that it happened at the door - on the cheek". "I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost". She resisted, after which Brokaw left.
Brokaw said he never sought an affair, and that Vester had approached him for advice. "I should not have gone but I emphatically did not verbally and physically attack her and suggest an affair", the email said.
Vester says Brokaw groped her and tried to forcefully kiss her on at least two occasions in 1993 and 1994.
What was in the email?
The letter was composed by Elizabeth Bowyer, co-head of brand and content strategy at Goldman Sachs, who then distributed it to some staffers at NBC, where Bowyer previously worked for Brokaw and NBC News, Variety reported. "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", he wrote.
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John Barnes would be a good example. "It can be a harsh environment". It wasn't any club for me to manage, it was the right club. That's the perception coming from down south.
"I am angry, hurt and unmoored from what I thought would be the final passage of my life and career, a mix of written and broadcast journalism, philanthropy and participation in environmental and social causes that have always given extra meaning to my life", he wrote.
"I am speaking out now because NBC has failed to hire outside counsel to investigate a genuine, long-standing problem of sexual misconduct in the news division", Vester told the Post.
NBC had no comment on Brokaw's letter.
In the letter, which was sent to several colleagues, Brokaw said Vester is a "character assassin" with a "grudge against NBC News".
Brokaw's email noted that his recollection of any encounters with Vester were entirely different from the pictures she painted in the Post and in Variety. Two friends who Vester told at the time corroborated her story with Variety, and she shared her journal entries from the time period. I don't recall saying, 'Ok.' I just remember being frozen. "So I left, 23 years later to be stunned by her melodramatic description of the meeting".
Brokaw noted that he deeply resents "the pain and anger [Vester] inflicted on my wife, daughters, and granddaughters", women he said are of "considerable success and passion about women's rights".