CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble, who was behind the firing of NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell for having an "inappropriate relationship" also had an affair with California billionaire Tom Barrack, according to a new report. Gamble's romantic relationship with Barrack, 76, was exposed to her co-workers way back in 2020.
According to reports, the relationship was exposed after Barrack, a longtime billionaire friend and 2016 fundraiser to President Trump, accidentally loafed on camera while Gamble was filming her show. The expose also led to an internal investigation at the CNBC network but Gamble managed to save her job, new reports have claimed.
In Another Inappropriate Relationship
According to sources familiar with the situation, Gamble's relationship with Barrack, a fervent supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaigns, sparked a human resources investigation at CNBC after she secured a high-profile interview with Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner in August 2020.
The investigation has been confirmed by an attorney for Gamble, the New York Post reported.
According to the attorney, Gamble believes an HR complaint was made after the Kushner interview, alleging that Barrack, who was then well-known for his close ties to the White House, had "organized the interview between Kushner and Gamble" while the two were dating and that it hadn't been disclosed, the outlet reported.
As more proof of their romance, The Post also released behind-the-scenes footage showing Gamble shooing Barrack from a hotel room in Turkey in the summer of 2020.
Gamble, according to the Post, interviewed Kushner in Washington, D.C. on Barrack's private plane and frequently broadcast her show, "Capital Connection," from his lavish apartment in New York City.
However, Gamble's lawyer Suzanne McKie claimed that Barrack, the founder of investment management company Colony Capital, "did not organize an interview" between Gamble and Kushner as Gamble had already met Kushner at the Peace to Prosperity Summit in Bahrain in June 2019,
"Hadley understands, although she was not party to the talks, that a Kushner representative approached the Middle East producer for CNBC to pitch a sit-down interview with Miss Gamble as the CNBC Middle East correspondent," McKie stated.
"We believe the claims to be the result of a deliberate smear campaign by bad actors. Miss Gamble has never had inappropriate relationships with journalistic sources and has always maintained the highest ethical standards in her reporting."
Saving Her Job
Staff members were angry and dissatisfied with the finding of the HR investigation. Some people pointed out that the investigation was spearheaded in 2021 by NBCUniversal rather than CNBC itself, which was an unusual move. According to sources, the employee handbook's section on conflicts of interest stated that staff are "expected to avoid conflicts of interest."
In behind-the-scenes footage from the summer of 2020 that The Post obtained, Gamble is seen wearing a pink dress.
A man casually enters the frame as Gamble is getting ready for a live shot on the set of her CNBC International show "Capital Connection"
The nine-second clip was recorded while Gamble was getting ready to host the show remotely from a luxurious hotel suite in Bodrum, Turkey.
The man lingers in the frame for a few seconds while Gamble desperately tries to attract his attention and shoo him away. He was wearing a T-shirt and shorts and appeared to be barefoot.
She appears to be trying to hide the man from the camera at one point by shifting position in her seat.
As the man eventually leaves the room, Gamble turns around to get his attention before grinning sheepishly into the camera. The individual in the video's backdrop has been identified as Barrack by three sources.
A CNBC coworker who was able to record video of the live feed prior to the on-air broadcast appears to have obtained the clip.
Some network employees questioned why her relationship with Barrack was not made public on television. According to sources, CNBC employees were also wondering whether Gamble had been dating Barrack when she interviewed him in February 2020 and why it hadn't been made public.
"While the rest of us were fighting to get any opportunity, she would fly first class and brag about it on Instagram, wearing Louboutins, staying in five-star hotels," said a source close to the matter. "We also hated how that reflected on the [CNBC] brand and our journalistic credibility by association but our complaints fell on deaf ears."
"Nobody could figure out why she was being protected," the source added. "Any normal employee would be fired."
The relationship, according to Gamble's attorney, started soon after the two 'first met' at the interview in February 2020.
According to reports, Gamble told her manager about the relationship in the summer of 2020, including details about her use of a private jet and broadcast from Barrack's mansion.
The couple split up in July 2021, right before the tycoon was taken into custody by the FBI on suspicion of working as a foreign agent. In November 2021, Barrack was ultimately cleared of all charges.
NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was fired by the network following an investigation after Gamble accused Shell of "sexual harassment" and "discrimination" at the workplace.
Shell resigned from his position at the company after a month-long probe into his conduct. Although NBCUniversal declined to identify the complainant, rumors suggested Gamble after their on-again, off-again relationship ended a few years ago.