Ari Wilkenfeld, the lawyer for the Matt Lauer victim whose complaint led to Lauer’s ouster from NBC and the Today show is once again calling for NBC to hire an external firm to investigate a “growing number” of sexual harassment claims at the network. Wilkenfeld had suggested that an outside firm take a microscope to the situation at NBC, but that has not happened at this time. Wilkenfeld says that a lack of transparency has to do with network management, and it goes beyond the Matt Lauer investigation.
Lawyer For The Matt Lauer Accuser Says NBC Can’t Investigate Itself
Wilkenfeld who approached NBC in November representing the former network employee who accused Matt Lauer of sexual misconduct while at work, said that at the time, Andy Lack, the NBC News chairman said that NBCUniversal’s legal team would be conducting the inquiry into Lauer and possible inappropriate behavior at the Today show, says Variety.
Ari Wilkenfeld says that since the network fired Matt Lauer, it seems like nothing has been done to stamp out sexual harassment at NBC and he is taking aim at Andy Lack.
“The problem is not just the superstar harassers, it’s the top management. The man who runs NBC News today oversaw a news division in which widespread harassment of women was allowed to occur, has appointed himself responsible for investigating and solving the problem. One important reason companies hire outside investigators is to send a strong signal to their own employees that the company wants to get to the root of what happened and is prepared to accept responsibility. Sadly, it seems that NBC has chosen to go in a very different direction.”
Ari Wilkenfeld has now taken on former NBC employee Linda Vester, who is now accusing Tom Brokaw of sexually inappropriate behavior as a client. Brokaw denies the accusations, saying that his interactions with Vester were “brief, cordial and appropriate.” But Wilkenfeld has concerns that the problem goes beyond Lauer and Brokaw.
New Accusations Have Come To Light About Matt Lauer
But even with new accusations being leveled at NBC News, Andy Lack sent a memo to his staff on Friday saying that their own internal investigation is almost over.
“[The investigation] is nearing its conclusion, and we will have finding and further steps to share with you as soon as next week.”
Lack added that the investigation was conducted by Kim Harris, general counsel at NBCUniversal. But several employees at NBC who spoke out to Variety on the promise of anonymity have said that the network shouldn’t investigate itself.
“How are they supposed to be investigating themselves?”
But Lack says that the network is taking all accusations about Lauer and others seriously.
“We take allegations such as these very seriously, and act on them quickly and decisively when the facts dictate.”
The Washington Post said that other accusations have come out about Matt Lauer and others at NBC. Former NBC News employee Ann Curry recently said that another employee had approached her for help keeping Matt Lauer away.
Ann Curry Confirms She Went To NBC Head About Matt Lauer Complaints
“A woman approached me and asked me tearfully if I could help her. She was afraid of losing her job.. . . I believed her.”
Curry said that she went to NBC management to tell them they had a serious problem.
“I told management they had a problem and they needed to keep an eye on him [Lauer] and how he deals with women.”
The NBC staffer confirmed to WP that she did indeed approach Ann Curry to ask for help back in 2012. Ann Curry left the Today show in 2015.
In a recent statement, Ann Curry said that there was “pervasive verbal sexual harassment at NBC,” and it went beyond Matt Lauer.