Former NBC Staffer Paid Off After Accusing Chris Matthews Of Sexual Harassment: Report
A former assistant producer for MSNBC host Chris Matthews received a payment from the network in relation to her departure after complaining of sexual harassment in 1999, reports the Daily Caller.
Two sources familiar with the situation told The Daily Caller that Matthews paid $40,000 to settle with an assistant producer on his show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, in 1999 after she accused him of harassment. An MSNBC spokesperson contested that claim to the Caller, saying the company instead paid significantly less as part of a severance package.
The woman complained to CNBC executives about Matthews making inappropriate comments and jokes about her while in the company of others.
The MSNBC spokesman said that they thoroughly reviewed the situation at the time and that Matthews received a formal reprimand. Based on people who were involved in matter, the network concluded that the comments were inappropriate and juvenile but were not intended to be taken as propositions.
MSNBC has disputed the claims – telling the Daily Caller that while the woman was compensated, it was “significantly less” than $40,000 and in relation to a severance package.
Matthews, who has hosted “Hardball” on MSNBC since 1997 and stared down Melania Trump in a hot-mic moment during the election, is the latest in a growing list of influential media figures to be accused of sexual misconduct, and the third high-profile case for NBC.
Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin
On November 29, “Today” star Matt Lauer – the highest paid personality in TV news, was fired after a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. Several other women also came forward at the time, telling Variety that their complaints to NBC executives about Lauer’s behavior were ignored. In addition to sex toys found in his office, Lauer reportedly had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside.
The network also cut ties with veteran political journalist and “Game Change” author Mark Halperin, who was accused groping, sexual assault and other forms of sexual harassment by a dozen women he worked with during his time with ABC news. “We find the story and the allegations very troubling,” MSNBC said in a statement to CNN, which broke the story, adding “Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”
The network also cut ties with senior vice president Matt Zimmerman for failing to report relationships he had with women who worked for him.