Linda Vester claimed that Tom Brokaw made an unwanted advance, including a forcible attempt to kiss her, on two occasions in the 1990s
Journalist Tom Brokaw eviscerated one of the women accusing him of sexual harassment in a memo to some NBC News colleagues Friday.
The Hollywood Reporter obtained a copy of the email, in which Brokaw, 78, characterizes Linda Vester as “a former colleague who left NBC News angry that she had failed in her pursuit of stardom.” (The Associated Press confirmed the authenticity of the memo, too.)
In a Washington Post report published on Thursday, Vester, 52, claimed Brokaw made an unwanted advance, including a forcible attempt to kiss her, on two occasions in the 1990s. At the time, Vester was in her 20s and did not file a complaint.
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But Brokaw staunchly denies her allegations, writing, “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.”
Vester, he said, “has unleashed a torrent of unsubstantiated criticism and attacks on me more than twenty years after I opened the door for her and a new job at Fox news.”
(Her lawyer tells PEOPLE, ““My client stands by the allegations, which speak for themselves.”)
Brokaw went on to give his version of their two meetings, during which he said she discussed her career and “office gossip.”
“I deeply resent the pain and anger she inflicted on my wife, daughters and granddaughters – all women of considerable success and passion about women’s rights which they personify in their daily lives and professions,” he concluded. “We’ll go on as a family that pursues social justice in medical emergency rooms, corporate offices, social therapy, African women’s empowerment and journalism. And no one woman’s assault can take that away.”
In a separate memo, NBC News chairman Andy Lack told the staff, “We take allegations such as these very seriously, and act on them quickly and decisively when the facts dictate.”