NBC confirmed over the weekend that it once paid a woman who worked with MSNBC host Chris Matthews “a separation-related payment” after she complained about sexual harassment from her boss, the Daily Caller reported Saturday.
According to the Daily Caller, Matthews paid an associate producer on his show, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” $40,000 in 1999 after she accused him of sexual harassment. Sources told the Daily Caller that Matthews himself made the payment, but an NBC spokesperson refuted that and claimed the network paid the woman a “significantly less” sum as part of a severance agreement.
An MSNBC spokesperson told the Daily Caller that the complaint was “thoroughly reviewed” at the time and Matthews was merely slapped with a formal reprimand.
The accusations of sexual harassment included inappropriate comments and jokes that Matthews made about the woman in the presence of others.
“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,” the Daily Caller reported.
NBC refused to say whether this was the only complaint lodged against Matthews in his two-decade tenure at the network. Matthews has hosted his famed show “Hardball” since 1997.
He is the third high-profile NBC male to be accused of sexual misbehavior. First, Mark Halperin was axed from the network after a number of women accused him of sexual misconduct. Then, just weeks ago, longtime “Today” anchor Matt Lauer was canned for similar accusations.