ABC News will not further investigate one of their anchors’ claims that company executives killed her reporting on Jeffrey Epstein and will not comment on the situation on-air.
ABC News told journalist Yashar Ali that they would not provide further commentary or reporting on the situation on Wednesday. The refusal to engage further comes just one day after the network denied all allegations of wrongdoing in a statement issued in response to the release of a leaked video showing anchor Amy Robach lamenting the network’s decision to “quash” her reporting on Epstein.
The right-wing activist group Project Veritas on Tuesday released video of Robach describing how she was barred from airing an interview with Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts in 2016, long before the Miami Herald broke the news earlier this year of Epstein’s alleged offenses.
In response, ABC claimed that Robach hadn’t provided sufficient reporting to corroborate Roberts’ allegations, and Robach herself issued a statement saying that she was never told not to report the story. Those claims stand in contrast to her recorded rant, in which she said she had corroborating accounts from other victims as well as photo and video evidence to substantiate the claims.
While being recorded, Robach said the executives were worried that airing the allegations against Epstein, who was convicted in 2008 for sexually abusing under age girls, would jeopardize the network’s upcoming interview with Prince Harry and Kate Middleton. The network worried about potential fall out because Roberts claimed in her interview with Robach that she was forced to perform sexual acts on Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II.
The decision by ABC stands in stark contrast to rival NBC’s handling of journalist Ronan Farrow’s allegations that the network suppressed his own reporting on the Harvey Weinstein scandal, purportedly due to fears it would reveal allegations of sexual misconduct against former Today Show host Matt Lauer.
On October 16 MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes scolded his own network during the last segment of his show for its handling of Farrow’s reporting on Weinstein.
“One thing…is indisputable,” said Hayes at the time. “Farrow walked out of NBC News after working on the Weinstein story and within two months published an incredible article in the New Yorker, that not only won a Pulitzer but helped trigger a massive social and cultural reckoning that continues to this day.”
Update 4:45 p.m.: ABC is still trying to determine which employee leaked the video of Robach, according to Ali.
“We take violations of company policy very seriously, and we’re pursuing all avenues to determine the source of the leak,” an ABC spokesman said.