The television network NBC paid off a woman who accused host Chris Matthews of sexual harassment back in 1999, the Daily Caller has revealed.
According to internal sources, the network paid $40,000 to an assistant producer working on Matthews’ nightly political talk show, Hardball with Chris Mathews, although an NBC spokesperson later denied this and said she was paid a considerably smaller severance package instead.
The woman reportedly complained to company executives after Matthews made a series of “inappropriate comments and jokes about her while in the company of others.”
A network spokesperson confirmed that the situation was formally reviewed at the time and Matthews was given a warning, after executives determined that the comments were “inappropriate and juvenile” but did not have sexual intent.
It is not clear whether Matthews’ accuser left the company as a result of the allegations, although she has consequently gone on to work in a number of high-profile media positions.
Matthews, 71, is the latest high-profile figure at the NBC network to be implicated in the ongoing sexual harassment scandal that has engulfed major figures in politics, the media, and Hollywood.
Last month, NBC fired longtime anchor Matt Lauer of the Today Show over allegations of sexual misconduct that included claims he assaulted a female staffer and harassed a number of interns, script-runners, and bookers.
In October, the network also cut ties with special contributor Mark Halperin over a slew of allegations of sexual assault and harassment, while the network’s senior vice president Matt Zimmerman was also released for failing to report his sexual relationship with female employees.