Chris Matthews, the former “Hardball” host, said he engaged in “inappropriate behavior” and said an accuser’s story was “very credible.”
“I didn’t argue about it, I didn’t deny it,” Matthews told Vanity Fair magazine over the weekend, referring to allegations from journalist Laura Bassett that she was harassed by Matthews, who departed the MSNBC show nearly two months ago.
“I accepted the credibility of the complaint in [Bassett’s] article,” he added. “I didn’t want to challenge the person that made the complaint and wrote the article. I thought it was very credible and certainly within the person’s rights to write that article, of course. That was highly justified. Basically, as I said, to repeat myself, it’s inappropriate in the workplace to compliment somebody on their appearance, this is in the makeup chair, and I did it.”
On March 2, Matthews announced his retirement from MSNBC during his nightly talk show after having hosted the program for more than 20 years. It came after Bassett published an article in GQ magazine detailing her harassment.
“The younger generation is out there ready to take the reins,” Matthews said at the time. “We see them in politics, in the media, in fighting for the causes. They have improved the workplace. We’re talking about better standards than we grew up with: fair standards.”
Matthews, 74, also apologized for a number of statements about comments he allegedly made toward female colleagues.
“Compliments on a woman’s appearance that some men, including me, might have once incorrectly thought were OK, were never OK,” he said. “Not then and certainly not today. And for making such comments in the past, I’m sorry.”