Chris Matthews Faced Sexual Harassment Allegations Just Before Sudden Retirement

Monday night, Chris Matthews shocked the news-watching public when he abruptly resigned in the middle of an episode of MSNBC's Hardball. While his sudden retirement caught everyone off-guard -- including his co-host Steve Kornacki -- the announcement comes after Matthews had made a number of questionable statements about public figures. Now, according to The Daily Beast, Matthews is also facing sexual harassment allegations as of Friday.

As the outlet points out, Matthews' exit comes after GQ published an article by Laura Bassett on Friday. In the piece, Bassett recalled her appearance as a guest on his show, where he repeatedly made inappropriate remarks about her appearance when the cameras weren't rolling. Specifically, she recalled Matthews asking, "Why haven't I fallen in love with you yet?" and later urged the makeup artist to "Keep putting makeup on her, I'll fall in love with her."

It's unclear if Bassett's article played a role in Matthews' retirement. His announcement came partway through Monday night's episode of Hardball, which he made just before the show cut to commercial.

"I'm retiring," Matthews said on air. "This is the last Hardball on MSNBC. Obviously this isn't for a lack of interest in politics. As you can tell, I've loved every minute of my 20 years as host of Hardball... not many people have had this privilege."

Most recently, Matthews had made some comments about presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in February, when he compared his campaign to the Nazi invasion of France. Sanders himself is Jewish, and his parents were killed by Nazis. Matthews soon apologized to Sanders for "comparing anything from that tragic era, in which so many suffered, especially the Jewish people, to an electoral result in which you were the well-deserved winner."

When the show returned from commercial, Kornacki was alone behind the anchors' desk and appeared to be quite shaken up by Matthews' exit.

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"That was a lot to take in just now," Kornacki told viewers. "I'm sure you're still absorbing that and I am too. Chris Matthews is a giant, a legend, it's been an honor for me to work with him to sit in here on occasion and I know how much you meant to him. I know how much he meant to you. I think you're going to miss him and I know I am going to, too."

In late 2017, a story came to light claiming that Matthews was accused of making sexist remarks by one of Hardball's then-producers in 1999. After she reported her boss's behavior, she claims he was formally reprimanded, but she was paid severance after leaving the position.