Following the high profile firings of Mark Halperin and Matt Lauer over explosive claims of sexual assault, MSNBC confirmed Saturday that the company paid hush money to an employee who accused host Chris Matthews of sexual assault in 1999.
Two sources told The Daily Caller that Matthews paid $40,000 to settle with the woman, who was an assistant producer on “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” However, an MSNBC spokesperson later contested that the company paid Matthews’s accuser a much smaller amount as part of a severance package.
NBC confirmed to @DailyCaller that an assistant producer on Chris Matthews’ show made a sexual harassment claim against him in 1999. The woman received a severance payment when she left the network. https://t.co/ILRVqu0WtB
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) December 17, 2017
Whatever the case, the fact of the matter is that money was exchanged for silence.
According to the MSNBC spokesman, the network thoroughly reviewed the claims at the time and issued Matthews a “formal reprimand.” Based on the accounts of people involved in the matter, they determined that Matthews’s comments were “inappropriate and juvenile but were not intended to be taken as propositions.”
The woman, who remains anonymous, received separation-related compensation when she left MSNBC and has gone on to work in a number of high-profile media positions.
Matthews has been the host of “Hardball” since 1997 and previously hosted “The Chris Matthews Show” from 2002 to 2013. This isn’t the first time he’s been publicly accused of harassment. During a segment on “Hardball” in 2007, he strangely asked CNBC host Erin Burnett to “get a little closer to the camera” before calling her a “knockout.”
Do you remember when Chris Matthews sexually harassed then-MSNBC reporter Erin Burnett ON-AIR? Watch this video! https://t.co/3JMJZ8XlPj
— 🎙Wayne Dupree (@WayneDupreeShow) December 18, 2017
NBC has not definitely said whether the unnamed producer was the only one to make a complaint against Matthews at the network.
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