Universal confirms payoff to another famous on-air host over sexual harassment complaint

Report: NBC Paid Off Chris Matthews Accuser Over Sexual Harassment Claims

A former MSNBC employee was given separation compensation after accusing host Chris Matthews of making inappropriate jokes and comments about her in 1999, which according to one report were sexual in nature. An MSNBC spokesperson contested that claim to the Caller, saying the company instead paid significantly less as part of a severance package.

The Daily Caller first reported the incident on Saturday, and Politico clarified on Sunday that in 1999, a staffer complained to management that Matthews made "inappropriate comments about her in front of colleagues".

Executives fully looked into the matter and dealt with it right away, the spokeswoman added. The MSNBC spokesperson said in the email to NBC News that the employee received separation-related compensation but wouldn't elaborate, citing confidentiality.

Matthews has been the host of "Hardball" since 1997 and also hosted "The Chris Matthews Show" from 2002 to 2013.

Matthews, whose show was later taken over by MSNBC where it still runs, was reprimanded for the inappropriate statements.

An MSNBC spokesman told The Daily Caller that Matthews had been slapped with a formal reprimand at the time.

Veteran "Today" co-host Matt Lauer was abruptly fired late last month after a woman complained to NBC News about repeated sexual harassment.

Matthews has yet to comment on the sexual assault allegations.

The report about the accusation also comes amid a broader movement of women speaking out about sexual harassment in Hollywood, politics and other fields.

In April, political talk show host Bill O'Reilly left Fox News after the New York Times reported he and his employer made payouts totaling about $13 million to five women to settle claims of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior. Lauer has said he is "truly sorry" but said some of what was being said about him was untrue or mischaracterized.

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