By Charles Creitz
Published October 23, 2019
An author and activist claimed NBC killed her sexual assault story after working through the "corroboration" process because of a potential legal threat to the network.
Sil Lai Abrams said Wednesday on "The Story" that her account of two alleged incidents of sexual assault were ultimately quashed by NBC because the network believed her story did not matter in the big picture.
"The decision was made that my story, other survivors' stories as we see what happened repeatedly at the network, doesn't matter," she said.
"If you can make it go away, all the better for NBC because then they don't have to take the hit."
In the interview, Abrams claimed NBC ultimately "capitulated" to attorneys representing hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, whom she had accused of rape.
"They opted not to move forward after dragging me through almost six months of 'corroboration' for nothing," she said.
"I was told that it was the head of NBC Universal -- the head lawyer -- so the head lawyer was talking directly with Simmons' attorney -- that's what I was told. So it became a fight between these two attorneys."
An attorney for Simmons pointed Fox News to previous statements he made denying allegations of “forced" sexual assault and harassment and statements from others that Simmons says support him. Simmons’ attorney also said the decision by some news organizations not to move forward with the story was appropriate.
Abrams said she had been working with MSNBC host Joy Reid to air a story on her allegations.
"This story isn't about Joy," she told MacCallum. "This story is about NBC and the power that they use to silence their reporters irrespective of race or gender -- as you see with Ronan Farrow."
"They're falling back on the same tired 'standards and practices' excuse -- but my story cleared standards and practices," she added, referencing a statement from MSNBC obtained by Fox News on the matter.
"I believe the problem with the story is that NBC does not break the news -- at least when it comes to survivors of sexual assault like myself."
On Monday, Abrams wrote a powerful first-person account in The Daily Beast with the headline: “It’s not just Ronan Farrow: NBC News killed my rape-allegation story too.”
She wrote that she initially “had no idea that NBC had a reputation for not breaking news about men accused of sexual assault” and therefore trusted NBC’s Joy Reid to report Abrams' rape and sexual assault allegations against hip hop mogul Russell Simmons and "Extra" co-host A.J. Calloway.
Abrams had previously told The Hollywood Reporter that NBC refused to run her story, but elaborated on the experience in The Daily Beast because Farrow’s “Catch and Kill” has put a spotlight on the troubled Peacock Network. Farrow has alleged that NBC didn’t expose Weinstein as a sexual predator in part because the now-disgraced Hollywood mogul leveraged ex-NBC anchor Matt Lauer’s own sexual misconduct.
“NBC put women’s lives at risk,” Abrams wrote. “This is one of the darkest of NBC’s sins.”
Fox News' Brian Flood contributed to this report.