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The New York State attorney general’s office has contacted multiple women who have raised concerns about sexual harassment at NBC News, according to two people familiar with the matter, as part of an initial inquiry into those concerns.
The inquiry, which is being conducted by the office’s Civil Division, is in a fact-finding stage after the women voiced their concerns publicly, one of the people said. It is not a formal investigation, and there is no indication it will become one.
At least two of the women were interviewed in January during meetings that were hours long, although the inquiry began earlier than that, a second person said, adding that the inquiry was looking at sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation.
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A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office declined to comment. The inquiry was first reported by DailyMail.com.
On Monday, NBCUniversal announced that NBC News chairman Andy Lack will step down at the end of this month as part of a larger corporate reorganization.
During Lack’s tenure, former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly made inappropriate remarks about blackface on the air in October 2018; NBC News then took her off the air and she left the company in early 2019. In late 2017, Lack personally went to the apartment of “TODAY” anchor Matt Lauer to fire him, following accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior. Lauer has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
An investigation conducted by NBC News and two law firms found that NBC News executives, including Lack, did not know about any Lauer allegations until the complaint that led to his firing.
Several of the women interviewed by the attorney general’s office are represented by attorney Doug Wigdor, including Kelly and Linda Vester, a former correspondent who has accused retired “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw of trying to kiss and grope her in the 1990s, a source told NBC News. Brokaw has denied the allegation.
A spokeswoman for NBCUniversal said Tuesday afternoon that the company was “unaware” of any investigation by the attorney general’s office.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is CNBC’s parent company