NBC News chief Andrew Lack — once accused of mishandling sexual harassment complaints at the Peacock Network — preyed on female underlings and pursued sexual relationships with them, according to one of his alleged victims.
Lack’s alleged behavior is detailed in Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book, “Catch and Kill” — an excerpt of which was obtained Wednesday by The Post.
In it, Jane Wallace, an anchor on CBS’s “West 57th” news show when Lack was an executive producer in the late 1980s, discussed her affair with the then-married newsman.
Lack, 72, a close friend of ousted “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer who oversaw his 2017 termination, was “almost unrelenting” in asking Wallace out to dinner “every day for almost a month,” saying he wanted to celebrate her contract, according to the book.
“If your boss does that, what are you gonna say?” Wallace told Farrow. “You know if you say ‘I don’t want to celebrate with you,’ you’re asking for trouble.”
She said their sexual relationship was “ultimately consensual, but I didn’t just get flirted with. I got worked over.”
Eventually, Wallace claimed Lack bullied her out of the job she loved — and lorded his power over her — when their relationship soured.
“As she left the show, she recalled him yelling, ‘You will never get credit,’” Farrow wrote. “Then the network deployed a tactic that the public was barely conscious of at the time: it offered her a substantial payout to sign a binding nondisclosure agreement.”
It was an offer Wallace accepted — reluctantly.
“It wasn’t till I really got out of there that I felt the full force of it. Of how disgusted I was,” she told Farrow. “The truth is, if he hadn’t been like that, I would have kept that job. I loved that job.”
“This is dead wrong and the charges of retaliation are just not true,” a source close to Lack told The Post.
Lack also allegedly had a “relationship” with a young associate producer, Jennifer Laird, and turned “hostile” toward her when things ended, according to the book.
“When Laird asked to be reassigned, Lack wouldn’t allow it,” Farrow wrote. “He compelled her to work longer hours, and on weekends, and proposed she cancel vacations.”
Laird confirmed the relationship to Farrow, telling the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, “There’s clearly a reason you don’t get involved with your boss.”
In the book, a rep denied Lack ever took retaliatory action against Laird.
The book “Catch and Kill” details how NBC decided to kill the Harvey Weinstein exposé after the movie mogul effectively “laid siege” to NBC News chairman [Andrew] Lack and NBC News president [Noah] Oppenheim during Farrow’s investigation. Farrow reports that in a September 2017 phone call, Lack told Weinstein’s attorney, “We’ve told Harvey we are not doing a story.”
The following month, Oppenheim pressured Farrow to sign a “compromise statement that conceded the story … failed to meet the network’s standards” to contradict his claim that NBC News killed his Weinstein story, then tried to cover it up. Oppenheim disputes this account and insists that when Farrow brought the story to the network, he had nobody on the record and it was not ready for air.
Former NBC News producer Rich McHugh defended Farrow’s book in Vanity Fair:
But as I witnessed firsthand during the year I spent at NBC News after Ronan published our reporting in the New Yorker—and as Ronan has further documented in his forthcoming book, Catch and Kill—Lack and Oppenheim were the ones who were lying.
They not only personally intervened to shut down our investigation of Weinstein, they even refused to allow me to follow up on our work after Weinstein’s history of sexual assault became front-page news. As the record shows, they behaved more like members of Weinstein’s PR team than the journalists they claim to be.
Thanks to them, a leading national news organization, in broad daylight and with zero remorse, abdicated its single greatest responsibility—to relentlessly pursue and tell the truth.
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