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Tom Ashbrook accused by former employees of ‘creepy’ sex talk, neck and back rubs

Tom Ashbrook.

More details emerged Monday about harassment allegations brought against acclaimed WBUR host Tom Ashbrook, who’s currently suspended from his “On Point” radio program while the network investigates the complaints.

A story posted to the WBUR website said 11 mostly young women and men who’ve worked for Ashbrook described a pattern of abuse including name calling, scoffing at show ideas during meetings, and “creepy” sex talk, along with hugs and back or neck rubs after his tirades.

Ashbrook, a former Boston Globe editor who has hosted the nationally syndicated radio show for 16 years, defended himself in a text message to a WBUR reporter.


“In the pressure of a live radio environment, I have at times been a tough and demanding boss,” he wrote. “We aspire to put out a top-notch show. Many people have thrived in that environment; a few have not. . . . I can’t describe how deeply upsetting this is to me. I am sure that once the facts come out that people will see me for who I am — flawed but caring and decent in all my dealings with others.”

Ashbrook has also worked for the South China Morning Post and is the author of “The Leap: A Memoir of Love and Madness in the Internet Gold Rush,” according to his biography on the WBUR website.

Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.