The journalist who accused MSNBC host Chris Matthews of “inappropriately flirting” said she’s been attacked for pressuring the “Hardball” host into retiring.
Laura Bassett said she’s shocked by the anger directed at her after she published a GQ column accusing Matthews, 74, of twice making inappropriate advances toward her as she prepped to appear on his show.
“People [are] telling me to kill myself, people calling me a whore, people calling me ugly,” Basset said during an appearance on “Inside Edition” Wednesday. “They want me to shut up, they want me to go away.”
As Bassett readied for the camera, the longtime host — who’s married to Kathleen Matthews, a former Maryland Democratic Party chairwoman — allegedly “looked over at me in the makeup chair next to him and said, ‘Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?’” Basset wrote in her piece published Friday.
After she laughed nervously, Bassett said he followed up to the makeup artist, saying, “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her.”
Another time, Matthews allegedly told the makeup artist to “Make sure you wipe this off her face after the show. We don’t make her up so some guy at a bar can look at her like this.”
Matthews announced his sudden retirement on Monday night’s broadcast, apologizing for past comments on women’s appearances without specifically mentioning Bassett or her claims.
“I helped to remove a man from the airwaves that was really undermining women,” Bassett went on. “It came as much a surprise to me than anyone on Monday night when he suddenly announced that he was retiring early, especially when he apologized.”
Bassett told “Inside Edition” it appeared Matthews was given a pass to make such remarks over the years.
“It was kind of like, ‘Don’t worry about him, that’s just how he is. He does that all the time,’” she said.
But she added that she didn’t believe the host deserved to be compared to other powerful men who have been accused of worse, like Harvey Weinstein or Matt Lauer.
“I made it really clear in my GQ column that I wasn’t accusing him of sexual harassment,” Bassett said.
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