Almost two months after Hardball host Chris Matthews abruptly retired on-air, the former MSNBC anchor told Vanity Fair’s Inside the Hive podcast that the workplace harassment allegation that precipitated his exit was “highly justified.” Said Matthews, “I didn’t argue about it, I didn’t deny it. I accepted the credibility of the complaint in the article.”
The article in question, published on February 28, was written by GQ political columnist Laura Bassett. In it, she describes Matthews sexually harassing her during a 2016 incident, telling a hair and make-up person, “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her” and “Make sure you wipe this [makeup] off her face after the show. We don’t make her up so some guy at a bar can look at her like this.” Bassett’s experience was not the only time Matthews reportedly behaved inappropriately in the workplace.
Now, Matthews admits, Bassett’s story happened as she recounted it. “I didn’t want to challenge the person that made the complaint and wrote the article,” he says. “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.”