Former NBC News employees who signed nondisclosure agreements with the network and believe they experienced sexual harassment are free to tell their stories, NBCUniversal said in a new statement Friday.
The statement was first reported by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow minutes before an interview with Ronan Farrow, the investigative journalist who chronicles his reporting on sexual misconduct allegations against former film mogul Harvey Weinstein in a new book, “Catch and Kill,” NBC News reports.
“Any former NBC News employee who believes that they cannot disclose their experience with sexual harassment as a result of a confidentiality or non-disparagement provision in their separation agreement should contact NBCUniversal and we will release them from that perceived obligation,” a spokesperson for NBCUniversal said in a copy of the statement obtained by NBC News.
In his book, Farrow wrote that NBC reached nondisclosure agreements with at least seven women who alleged harassment or discrimination at the company, including former employees with complaints about former “Today” host Matt Lauer. NBC has denied that these agreements were intended to silence the women from speaking out about assault or harassment, saying that they were standard severance agreements with departing staff members.
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NBCUniversal is the parent company for both NBC News and the NBC Owned Television Stations.