"I don’t want to sit on your lap," she said. But Mark Halperin insisted.

Close the door, he said when she arrived. Come over here, he said, seated at his desk. Sit down and I’ll give you the information, he said. He motioned to his lap.

“What?” she remembers thinking. “I don’t want to sit on your lap.” But Halperin was the political director of the network, a rising star who was highly regarded by ABC’s management, including “World News Tonight” anchor Peter Jennings. Goldberg, who now goes by her married name, May, thought that refusing him could injure her career.

She reluctantly agreed and sat down briefly. Halperin, she recalled on Wednesday, had an erection.