UPDATE: MSNBC says they're looking into the accuations and will not book Ford as a guest on the network during this review.
MSNBC statement on Harold Ford: "We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr. During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNBC.”— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) December 7, 2017
Former Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN) is a fixture on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, appearing many times as a panelist and guest host. He’s also an executive at banking giant Morgan Stanley. That lasted until today when he was fired for reported harassment of a colleague several years ago (via Huffington Post) [emphasis mine]:
Former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. has been fired for misconduct by Morgan Stanley after facing a human resources investigation into allegations of misconduct, a company spokeswoman confirmed.
“He has been terminated for conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies,” a spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley told HuffPost in an email.
At least one woman, who is not a Morgan Stanley employee but interacted with Ford in a professional capacity, was interviewed by Morgan Stanley’s HR department as part of the investigation.
In two interviews with HuffPost, the woman alleged that Ford engaged in harassment, intimidation, and forcibly grabbed her one evening in Manhattan, leading her to seek aid from a building security guard. The incident took place several years ago when Ford and the woman were supposed to be meeting for professional reasons. Ford continued to contact her after the encounter until she wrote an email asking him to cease contact.
The email, which was reviewed by HuffPost, shows that the woman emailed Ford after he repeatedly asked her to drinks. She asked him not to contact her anymore, citing his inappropriate conduct the evening where he forcibly grabbed and harassed her. Ford replied to the email by apologizing and agreeing not to contact her.
In regards to news today, This simply did not happen. I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life.— Harold Ford, Jr. (@HFord2) December 7, 2017
Having drinks and dinner for work is part of my job, and all of my outreach to the news reporter making these false allegations— Harold Ford, Jr. (@HFord2) December 7, 2017
was professional and at the direction of my firm for business purposes. I support and have tremendous respect for the brave women now speaking out in this important national dialogue. False claims like this though undermine the real silence breakers.— Harold Ford, Jr. (@HFord2) December 7, 2017
I will now be bringing legal action against the reporter who made these false claims about me as well as Morgan Stanley for improper termination.— Harold Ford, Jr. (@HFord2) December 7, 2017
Now, Ford has vociferously denied these allegations and has threatened legal action against The Huffington Post and Morgan Stanley for wrongful termination. NBC News added that Morgan Stanley has not told Ford directly that he has been let go:
John Singer, a lawyer for Ford, said in a statement: "Morgan Stanley has still not told Harold directly of his termination, and unlike every other circumstance I’ve been in, the company has refused to provide me with a reason. This all demonstrates how this was a matter of convenience during a hyper-sensitive time and not based on real facts."