More than a month after MSNBC’s Morning Joe announced former Dem Congressman-turned Morgan Stanley exec Harold Ford Jr. would not appear on its air pending an investigation into his exit from Morgan Stanley, the financial services firm has issued a statement “clarifying” the cause of Ford’s exit.
Ford also serves as a paid on-air political analyst for NBC/MSNBC and regularly appears on the MSNBC program “Morning Joe.”
“We are looking into the report about Harold Ford Jr. During that time he won’t be a guest on MSNC,” the network said in a statement issued December 7, about the paid on-air political analyst the network said in a statement back then.
“Morgan Stanley would like to clarify the circumstances of Mr. Ford’s departure. We take allegations of inappropriate conduct seriously,” a company spokesperson said in a new statement, issued Monday, January 22.
“The press has reported that Mr. Ford was terminated for sexual misconduct. He was not. We have not received any internal allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct involving him either before or after his separation became public. As previously stated, his separation was based on corporate policy.”
In early December, a Morgan Stanley said the former Dem Congressman was fired for “conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies.”
At the time, Huffington Post broke the story, it reported 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 its investigation.
The unidentified woman alleged Ford harassed, intimidated, and grabbed her one evening in Manhattan, leading her to seek aid from a building security guard, Huffington Post reported, adding that it interviewed her twice, and that the incident had occurred years ago when Ford and the woman were meeting for professional reasons. HuffPost reported she told them Ford continued to contact her after the encounter until she wrote an email asking him to stop contacting her. Ford replied to the email by apologizing and agreeing not to contact her, saying in an email quoted by HuffPost that “my overtures are strictly professional” and that he was sorry of another impression had been left.
Back then, Ford said in a statement, the incident “simply did not happen. I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life. Having drinks and dinner for work is part of my job, and all of my outreach to the news reporter making these false allegations 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 undermine the real silence breakers.”
In his statement to HuffPost more than a month ago, Ford also said, “I will now be bringing legal action against the reporter who has made these false claims about me as well as Morgan Stanley for improper termination.”