A CNBC journalist accused Jeff Shell, the previous chief govt of NBCUniversal, of pressuring her for intercourse over a interval of years throughout her profession on the enterprise information community, in keeping with a replica of her criticism reviewed by The New York Occasions.
The criticism, lodged in late March by Hadley Gamble, an anchor and senior worldwide correspondent, kicked off an investigation that led to Mr. Shell’s dismissal final week, sending shock waves throughout a far-flung media empire that features NBC Information, the Common film studio and DreamWorks Animation.
Lower than a web page of Ms. Gamble’s criticism, which is greater than a dozen pages, centered on allegations of sexual harassment by Mr. Shell. A lot of the criticism raised accusations of bullying and discrimination at CNBC, saying ladies on the community’s worldwide division had been harassed by their male colleagues on a number of completely different events.
Comcast, NBCUniversal’s dad or mum firm, employed the regulation agency Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to analyze the criticism after it was despatched to the corporate’s executives in New York and London.
Comcast declined to touch upon the criticism.
Final week, Comcast mentioned that it had discovered proof to corroborate allegations of sexual harassment in opposition to Mr. Shell and that it had fired him for trigger. The corporate will not be paying him severance.
Mr. Shell mentioned in an announcement that he and Ms. Gamble had a “mutual and consensual relationship” and that “the criticism wildly misrepresents the info of what occurred.”
Suann MacIsaac, a lawyer for Ms. Gamble, mentioned that Mr. Shell “focused” Ms. Gamble months earlier than they met in individual and continued his pursuit after his promotion to chief govt.
“We anticipate extra makes an attempt at revisionist historical past from a person who was simply fired for trigger following a decade lengthy marketing campaign of sexual harassment, which started when he was C.E.O. of NBC Common Worldwide,” Ms. MacIsaac mentioned.
Ms. Gamble, 41, is a journalist based mostly in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, and has interviewed main world figures together with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany. She has labored for CNBC for greater than a decade within the Center East and London, the place she met Mr. Shell.
The criticism alleged that Mr. Shell invited Ms. Gamble to dinner in London — the criticism doesn’t say what yr — when she was a comparatively junior producer and he was the top of NBC Worldwide. After the dinner, Mr. Shell accompanied Ms. Gamble again to her lodge and he pressured her to begin a sexual relationship however was rebuffed.
Ms. Gamble didn’t work for the division Mr. Shell oversaw once they met, in keeping with an individual acquainted with the matter.
Ms. Gamble and Mr. Shell finally did start a sexual relationship, in keeping with the criticism, after it grew to become clear to her that rebutting his advances would most likely injury her profession. The criticism mentioned that Mr. Shell continued to make use of his place of energy at NBCUniversal to strain her for intercourse whereas pursuing her in London, New York and Dubai.
Mr. Shell pursued Ms. Gamble on and off over a interval of years over textual content and electronic mail, in keeping with two folks acquainted with their correspondence, and Ms. Gamble turned over these messages to the corporate as a part of its investigation.
Elsewhere within the criticism, Ms. Gamble alleged particular situations of discrimination and inappropriate habits towards quite a few ladies at CNBC. In a single occasion, Ms. Gamble describes a supervisor calling her a vulgar epithet for ladies in entrance of her co-workers for elevating considerations about bullying habits from one other journalist. In one other, she alleges a co-worker berated her for ending an interview early, utilizing coarse language, and snapping at her for rewriting headlines that she needed to learn on air.
Ms. Gamble filed the criticism after CNBC didn’t renew her contract this yr. An individual acquainted with Ms. Gamble’s pondering mentioned that her resolution to file the criticism, which she had thought of for years, was additionally based mostly on frustration with what she seen as a poisonous tradition of harassment and bullying at CNBC. Axios earlier reported on these elements of the criticism.
John Casey, the president of CNBC Worldwide, informed her in February that the community wouldn’t provide her a contract for a interval longer than a month, in keeping with the criticism. He informed her that she had a behavioral drawback and accused her of bullying different journalists at CNBC.
Ms. Gamble denied these accusations, in keeping with her criticism. She mentioned in her criticism that Mr. Casey had used the allegations of bullying to justify the choice to not renew her contract, including that such claims wouldn’t have been leveled in opposition to a male peer.
Pressure existed between Ms. Gamble and CNBC managers earlier than the community’s resolution to not renew her contract. In June, the community informed her that it was investigating a criticism made in opposition to her and a supervisor at CNBC who had supervised her.
Amongst different issues, CNBC investigated whether or not she had used a romantic relationship with Tom Barrack, a non-public fairness investor, to safe an interview with Jared Kushner, in keeping with Ms. Gamble’s criticism. The investigation concluded that Ms. Gamble did have a relationship with Mr. Barrack, however decided the connection was disclosed and there was no proof of impropriety, in keeping with her criticism. Mr. Barrack was single on the time of the connection with Ms. Gamble, in keeping with an individual acquainted with the connection.
The investigation into Ms. Gamble additionally discovered that she had made inappropriate feedback about some colleagues prior to now, and that she had not at all times strictly complied with CNBC’s journey and expense coverage.