When Newsmen Get Lewd: 8 Disgraced Broadcasters Who've Faced Sex Scandals, Sexual Assault Allegations & More
Brokaw, who has been with NBC since anchoring the Today show in 1976, is the latest journalist alleged of sexual harassment following Matt Lauer’s termination in the fall.
In a Washington Post report published in April 2018, former NBC correspondent Linda Vester 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.
Shortly after the claims, Brokaw shared a denial statement, issued by NBC and obtained by The Post. “I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago, because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC,” Brokaw said.
“The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her, at that time or any other,” the statement continued.
In November 2018, news broke that NBC had fired Matt Lauer after the network received a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior,” with reason to believe “this may not have been an isolated incident” — and in the wake of the announcement, several more allegations were brought against the longtime anchor.
Since his termination and the reports of his alleged sexual misconduct, Lauer has been laying low in the Hamptons — and a source close to him previously told PEOPLE that he remains “truly devastated” over the situation that ended his career at NBC.
In April 2018, for the first time in five months, since he was fired, Lauer broke his silence. He gave a statement to the Washington Post, addressing the allegations.
“I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months — including a claim that I would, or even could, lock someone in my office,” Lauer said. “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.
“But defending my family now requires me to speak up. I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC. However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false,” he concluded the statement.
In November 2017, CBS fired the longtime journalist amid sexual harassment claims. The move came one day after the Washington Post published a report in which eight women alleged that Rose made non-consensual sexual advances towards them, including groping, lewd calls and walking naked in their presence, while they either worked for or aspired to work for the TV host on his Charlie Rose show spanning from the late ’90s to 2011.
“A short time ago we terminated Charlie Rose’s employment with CBS News, effective immediately. This followed the revelation yesterday of extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior said to have revolved around his PBS program,” CBS News president David Rhodes said. “Despite Charlie’s important journalistic contribution to our news division, there is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organization, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace—a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work. We need to be such a place.”
Six months after Rose was fired by CBS, 27 additional women accused the longtime journalist of sexual misconduct. The alleged incidents date back to 1976 and were allegedly reported to the network as early as 1986.
The newly minted Today show cohost officially parted ways with the NBC family a little over a week after his suspension. The news came in the wake of the Oct. 7 leak of a 2005 tape in which the then-Access Hollywood host and Donald Trump were heard making lewd and graphic comments about Nancy O’Dell and Arianne Zucker while filming a segment for the entertainment program. “I am deeply grateful for the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, and for all of the support from family, friends and colleagues,” read Bush’s exit statement. “I look forward to what lies ahead.”
The Fox News White House correspondent was forced to take a four-month break from his position after a tabloid revealed the reporter had cheated on his wife with a Las Vegas hostess. Henry has since returned as chief national correspondent, a notable demotion compared to his prior title.
The respected entertainment journalist — who had worked on-air for CBS Sports, Access Hollywood and Insider through his career — made headlines himself in 2005 after a sexually explicit voicemail he left for a woman he had just met was leaked. O’Brien, who had privately battled alcoholism, had no choice but to confront his demons, opting to check into a rehab facility following the incident, which he claims to have no recollection of. “One of the byproducts of alcoholism are blackouts,” O’Brien, who is now sober, told Oprah Winfrey in a 2014 interview. “I don’t remember it.”
The “gotcha guy” got gotcha-ed. Following a 20-year stint at NBC, Hansen — best known for serving as host on Dateline’s To Catch a Predator, on which he confronted sexual predators — was dropped by the network three weeks after photos of him kissing his mistress were leaked.
Talk about a bombshell: approximately three weeks before the 2004 presidential election, The O’Reilly Factor host was sued by the show’s associate producer Andrea Mackris for sexual harassment. Mackris alleged the political pundit had urged her to “just use your vibrator to blow off steam” and shared a shower fantasy with her. The quotes were allegedly recorded by Macriks (though never released) and seemingly helped with the suit, which settled two weeks later.