Former MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews made a public statement for the first time since stepping down from the network amid sexual harassment allegations about two months ago. The former news-show host admitted that his behavior was “inappropriate” and found his accuser’s story to be “very credible.”
“I didn’t argue about it, I didn’t deny it,” Matthews told Vanity Fair Magazine of journalist Laura Bassett’s claim in a GQ Magazine column that she was sexually harassed by left-wing cable news personality.
Bassett’s GQ Magazine column in late February went into detail about a time when she had an uncomfortable encounter with Matthews in 2016 when she was in the makeup room getting ready for an appearance on his show. He had been in the chair next to her, and said, “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?”
Bassett even went on to say that his “sexist” behavior “undermined” her job performance as a journalist.
Matthews abruptly resigned from Hardball three days after the column went live after his show had a 20-year run.
“I accepted the credibility of the complaint in [Bassett’s] article,” Matthews told Vanity Fair. “I didn’t want to challenge the person that made the complaint and wrote the article. I thought it was very credible and certainly within the person’s rights to write that article, of course. That was highly justified.”
“Basically, as I said, to repeat myself, it’s inappropriate in the workplace to compliment somebody on their appearance, this is in the makeup chair, and I did it,” he added.