NBC News Settled Sexual Harassment Complaint Against Chris Matthews in 1999

By A.J. Katz 

There’s yet another report of sexual harassment coming out of the cable news business.

MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews was accused of making inappropriate jokes and comments about a female employee in 1999 and the woman was paid a separation compensation, reports NBC News.

“In 1999 this matter was thoroughly reviewed and dealt with. At that time Matthews received a formal reprimand,” an MSNBC spokesperson told the parent company in an email on Saturday.


TVNewser reached out to MSNBC for comment on Sunday morning, but has yet to hear back.

The Daily Caller, citing two sources close to the situation, was first to report the news of the payment, saying it was made to settle with an assistant producer on Hardball 18 years ago, when the program was still on CNBC.

Apparently, the woman complained to CNBC executives that Matthews made inappropriate jokes and comments about her in front of others, that the matter was looked into and it was determined that the comments were inappropriate and in made in poor taste, but were never meant as propositions.

The Daily Caller reported that the separation payment was $40,000. The MSNBC spokesperson said that the employee received a severance, but wouldn’t give specific financial details, citing “confidentiality” as the reason.

The news of the payment comes amid an avalanche of accusations of sexual misconduct against a number of high-profile media personalities and executives.

In under two months, NBC has fired Today show co-host Matt Lauer and booker Matt Zimmerman, severed ties with contributor Mark Halperin, and Harold Ford Jr.

On December 8th, NBC News announced it would be requiring “harassment prevention” training for all its employees and would conduct a “culture assessment” of the news division, which includes interviewing roughly 40 employees at all levels in the news division. This move came just days after the Lauer firing.