Tumblr Linda Vester had a reputation for covering tough stories. Two friends who Vester told at the time corroborated her story with Variety, and she shared her journal entries from the time period.
Brokaw, who has been married to Meredith Auld since , has never before been publicly accused of sexual harassment. She comes forward at her own expense and at her own peril. By her being willing to go on the record, perhaps this will embolden other brave women to tell their stories. When I was interviewing at NBC, the network offered me a job where I could work my way up through the ranks.
They started me as a researcher, then a field producer, then I was sent to the NBC Tampa affiliate to get more on-air experience. We were in the Denver bureau, and there was a conference room. Nobody acted like anything wrong was happening, but I was humiliated. He was the most powerful man at the network, and I was the most junior person, reporting for an entirely different show.
It was really out of the blue. There was a culture at NBC News, in my experience, where women who raise questions about misconduct get labeled as troublemakers. It can torpedo your career. I had just been hired full-time, and I wanted to be able to do my job. I did my best to collect myself and get on with my work.
But I know when he assaulted me, which was the first week of January in And I was sitting at a borrowed desk, when I received a computer message from Tom Brokaw asking me what I was doing that night. But when the most powerful man at the network sends you a computer message, you answer him. So I replied that I had checked out of my hotel and I was going to catch the last shuttle back to D.
He asked me about staying in New York to have drinks. Then I wrote a line that tried more pointedly to make him aware that what he was doing was questionable.
This is in my journal. I got really scared, so I called my best friend, who was a producer in the Washington bureau, and I read her all the messages out loud. I took a cab to the airport to catch the shuttle to D. So I took a cab back to the Essex House, checked back in, put the phone onto my lap and started returning calls. I received three calls that night.
One was from a friend. Another was from a source. And the third was from Tom Brokaw. He said he was coming over to order milk and cookies. I felt powerless to say no. He could ruin my career. I went cold inside and started shaking. And I felt trapped because he was undeterred by anything I had said before.
I called my friend again, and I was scared out of my mind. I open the door. He walked past me and sat down on the sofa in my suite. I said nothing to him. He was sitting, and I was standing across the coffee table from him approximately four feet away.
Now I could feel myself trembling. I sat down, and I was so afraid, I jammed myself up against the back of the sofa and I grabbed a throw pillow, because I was trying to signal to him with my body language that I was both frightened and unwilling. Just to be sure I was getting the message across, I brought up a case of sexual harassment that had happened in the Washington D.
I was shocked to feel the amount of force and his full strength on me. I could smell alcohol on his breath, but he was totally sober. He was in control of his faculties. I stood at the door shaking for a long time, and I called my friend and told her I was safe. I told her exactly what had happened — every word — and she stayed on the phone with me for a while. And then, eventually, I wrote down everything that had happened in my journal and fell asleep.
The next day, I got on a plane back to D. I felt like I had to call him, not because I wanted to, but because he was so powerful. But I do remember he was engaging in verbal gymnastics to try to revise what had happened the night before in such a way as to make it sound like it started out as consensual.
I did not assent to this revision of events. Shortly after, I moved to London. In May , it was the 50th anniversary of VE Day, and all the correspondents were working on reports for different coverage. But I had my laptop with me, and I got a computer message from him asking what everyone was doing that night. Regrettably, I answered his question honestly.
I said the name of the restaurant. But he did, and then he invited himself to my flat. I remember unlocking my door to my flat and turning on the lights and Tom walking past me. He sits down in my living room and asks for drinks. I got two glasses of tap water and set them down on the table. He started bragging about himself and particularly bragging about how he was such close friends with Bob Redford. He pats the sofa. As I sit, reluctantly again, I look down at his hands and I made a mental note of how swollen his knuckles were, a reminder of just how much older than me he was.
In the same exact way as in , he reached behind my neck and tried to force my head toward him and force me to kiss him. I broke away again.