A CNBC journalist has accused former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell of forcing her to have sex over the years during his career with the business news network.
A complaint filed in late March by Hadley Gamble, an anchor and senior international correspondent, launched an investigation that led to Shell’s dismissal last week. send a shock wave Across an extensive media empire that includes NBC News, Universal Movie Studios and DreamWorks Animation.
It was more than 12 pages long, less than one page of Mr. Gamble’s complaint, which focused on Mr. Shell’s allegations of sexual harassment. Many of the complaints raised accusations of bullying and discrimination on CNBC, saying women in the network’s international arm were harassed by male colleagues on several different occasions.
Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal, turned to law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to investigate after complaints were sent to company executives in New York and London.
Comcast declined to comment on the complaint.
Last week, Comcast said it found evidence supporting sexual harassment allegations against Shell and fired him for good reason. The company has not paid him severance pay.
In a statement, Shell said he and Gamble had a “mutually consensual relationship” and that “the complaint grossly misrepresents the facts.”
Mr. Gamble’s lawyer, Suan Makaizak, said Mr. Shell “targeted” Mr. Gamble months before they met in person and continued to pursue him even after he was promoted to chief executive.
“After a decade-long campaign of sexual harassment that began during my time as CEO of NBCUniversal International, expect more attempts at revisionist history from a man who was just fired for the cause,” Maaisak said. Stated.
Gamble, 41, is a journalist based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She has interviewed some of the world’s leading figures, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. She has worked for CNBC for over a decade in the Middle East and London where she met Mr. Shell.
The complaint alleges that Mr. Shell invited Mr. Gamble to a dinner in London. Her complaint does not state when she was her relatively junior producer and when he was in charge of her NBC International. After dinner, Mr. Shell accompanies Mr. Gamble back to the hotel and pressures her to initiate a sexual relationship with her, but is refused.
Mr. Gamble was not working in the department Mr. Schell oversaw when he met, according to people familiar with the matter.
Gamble and Shell eventually began having a sexual relationship, according to the complaint. Her complaint alleges that Mr. Shell used her power at NBCUniversal to force her to have sex while he pursued her in London, New York and Dubai.
Mr. Shell followed Mr. Gamble numerous times over the years through texts and emails, according to two people familiar with the relationship, and Mr. Gamble handed those messages over to the company as part of an investigation.
Elsewhere in the complaint, Mr. Gamble alleges specific instances of discrimination and inappropriate behavior against numerous women on CNBC. In one instance, Gamble describes her manager calling her a vulgar feminine adjective in front of her colleagues who raised her concerns about bullying behavior from another journalist. increase. In another article, she said she was accused by her colleagues of ending her interview prematurely, using her vulgar language, and rewriting her headlines that she had to read on air. claim.
Gamble filed a complaint after CNBC did not renew his contract this year.Gamble’s decision to prosecute, which she’s been thinking about for years, was also based on her dissatisfaction with what she saw on CNBC as a toxic culture of harassment and bullying, according to a person familiar with Gamble’s thinking. previously reported for those aspects of the complaint.
CNBC International President John Casey told her in February that the network would not offer her a contract longer than a month, according to the complaint. He said she had behavioral issues with her, and he accused her on CNBC of bullying other journalists.
Gamble denied those accusations, according to her complaint. In her complaint, she said Casey used bullying allegations to justify her decision not to renew her contract, and such allegations are leveled against her male peers. She added that it never happened.
There was tension between Mr. Gamble and the CNBC manager before the network made the decision not to renew his contract. In June, the network told her it was investigating complaints made against her and the CNBC manager who oversaw her.
According to Gamble’s complaint, CNBC investigated, among other things, whether she used her romantic relationship with private equity investor Tom Barack to secure a meeting with Jared Kushner. An investigation determined that Gamble had had an affair with Barack, but that the relationship was disclosed and there was no evidence of impropriety. Gamble was unmarried at the time Barack was dating, according to a person familiar with the matter.
An investigation into Gamble also found that she had made inappropriate comments about some colleagues in the past and did not always strictly adhere to CNBC’s travel and expense policies.
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