2020 didn't have the most calming start for Tom Brokaw. The former NBC Nightly News anchor and wife Meredith Auld were awoken to find a fire underway at their apartment building in New York City. When speaking about the incident to the New York Post, Brokaw praised the first responders for their quick work in getting the fire under control.
"We’re safe, and we were very, very impressed with the work of the New York Fire Department," Brokaw said. "It was close to the south floor of our building and it was fully involved by the time they got here."
He went on to credit his four-legged companions for alerting them to the fire in the first place. "Our dogs began to bark and we realized, we looked down in our elevator area and the fire department was coming up," he said.
The fire started on the 14th floor of the landmark building on E. 79th Street in the city's Upper West Side, which was only two floors above where the Brokaws reside. More than 100 firefighters were dispatched to the location just after midnight. They declared it under control roughly two hours later. Six people, five of them firefighters, received non-life-threatening injuries, although details were not disclosed.
Back in 2018, Brokaw was accused of sexual harassment by former NBC News correspondent Linda Vester, who claimed the newsman of physically trying to kiss her forcefully on two separate occasions. Brokaw released a statement issued by NBC not long after.
"I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago, because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC," the statement read. "The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her, at that time or any other."0comments
Another woman had come forward, albeit anonymously, accusing him of inappropriate behavior in the 1990s. In his continued denial of the allegations, he also lashed out on the media for reporting on the story, which cast him as a sexual predator in the court of public opinion.
"I was ambushed and then perp walked ... as an avatar of male misogyny," Brokaw began. "Taken to the guillotine and stripped of any honor and achievement I had earned in more than a half-century of journalism and citizenship."