Brian Williams blames 'brain tumor' for scandal & 5 more shocking claims from 'Vanity Fair' investigation

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Brian Williams Blamed 'Brain Tumor' For Iraq Helicopter Story

As the fall out from the Brian Williams scandal continues, ABC's World News Tonight with David Muir has finally overtake NBC's Nightly News in the ratings for the first time in over seven years.

Williams remains on a leave of absence after he falsely reported that he was under fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Now a Vanity Fair investigation goes deep into what allegedly happened at NBC after their beloved news anchor's credibility was ruined.

29 PHOTOS
Brian WIlliams (with family)
See Gallery
Brian Williams blames 'brain tumor' for scandal & 5 more shocking claims from 'Vanity Fair' investigation
(L-R) Journalist Tom Brokaw, Bob Wright and Brian Williams attend Library of Science, Industry & Business 1st 100 Days Gala on October 21, 1996 at the New York Public Library in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Tom Brokaw, left, anchorman of NBC's "Nightly News" listens as NBC's Brian Williams makes a point during a news conference Tuesday, May 28, 2002, in New York. Williams will succeed Tom Brokaw as anchorman of NBC's "Nightly News" in 2004, as NBC becomes the first of the three networks to announce a succession plan for their chief anchors. (AP Photo/ Diane Bondareff)
Stephen Trupp/STAR MAX/IPx 12/15/02 Brian Williams at the premiere of "The Hours". (NYC)
Raoul Gatchalian/STAR MAX/IPx 5/8/08 Brian Williams and wife at Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. (NYC)
Westcom/STAR MAX/IPx 9/10/10 Brian Williams and Katie Couric at "Stand Up to Cancer". (Culver City, CA)
Actress Allison Williams, center, poses with her parents NBC News anchor Brian Williams and Jane Williams at HBO's "Girls" fourth season premiere party at The American Museum of Natural History on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Peter Kramer/STAR MAX/IPx 5/5/02 Brian Williams at the 75th Anniversary of NBC. (NYC)
Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal, left, and Brian Williams arrive at the world premiere of "Neighbors" at the Regency Village Theatre on Monday, April 28, 2014, in Los Angeles . (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP)
Brian Williams, from left, Allison Williams, Jane Stoddard Williams and Douglas Williams attend the after party following the premiere of HBO's "Girls" third season on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
News anchor Brian Williams, left, and his son Douglas Williams, right, attend the New York premiere of "Lone Survivor" on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
Musician Bruce Springsteen plays a guitar intended for auction alongside television journalist Brian Williams, left, at the Stand Up for Heroes event at Madison Square Garden, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, in New York. (John Minchillo/Invision/AP)
NBC News anchor Brian Williams and wife Jane attend the TIME 100 gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, at the Frederick P. Rose Hall on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
FILE - This April 4, 2012 file photo shows Actress Allison Williams poses with her father, NBC News' Brian Williams, at the premiere of the HBO original series "Girls," in New York. Allison Williams will star in the lead role of "Peter Pan." NBC is airing a new version of the musical live on Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Starpix, Dave Allocca, FIle)
Jon Hamm, left, sneaks behind Brian Williams and his wife Jane Stoddard Williams as they pose on the red carpet before a screening of "Friends with Kids" hosted by the Cinema Society in New York, Monday, March 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
From left, Allison Williams, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and Jane Stoddard Williams attend the American Museum of Natural History's 2011 Museum Gala, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
Brian Williams and Robert De Niro arrive for their discussion at the 'Tribeca Talks: Directors Series' during the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Saturday, April 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
From left, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, 'Saturday Night Live' head writer Seth Meyers and President and CEO of NBC Universal, Jeffrey Zucker, attend the 2010 Matrix Awards presented by the New York Women in Communications at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Monday, April 19, 2010 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
NEW YORK - APRIL 23: Brian Williams and wife attend Tribeca Talks Directors Series at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival on April 23, 2011 in New York City
Brian Williams with Katie Couric and Charles Gibson at Stand Up To Cancer. Kodak Theater, Hollywood, CA. 09-05-08
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 18: Brian and Jane Williams attend American Museum of Natural History Gala on November 18, 2010 in New York, City.
NEW YORK - APRIL 22: News Anchor Brian Williams and wife Jane attend the Vanity Fair Party during the 8th Annual Tribeca Film Festival at State Supreme Courthouse on April 22, 2009 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: NBC News Anchor Brian Williams speaks onstage at The New York Comedy Festival and The Bob Woodruff Foundation present the 8th Annual Stand Up For Heroes Event at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for New York Comedy Festival)
Actress Allison Williams, center, poses with her parents NBC News anchor Brian Williams and Jane Williams at HBO's "Girls" fourth season premiere party at The American Museum of Natural History on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
FILE - This April 4, 2012 file photo shows Actress Allison Williams poses with her father, NBC News' Brian Williams, at the premiere of the HBO original series "Girls," in New York. Allison Williams will star in the lead role of "Peter Pan." NBC is airing a new version of the musical live on Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Starpix, Dave Allocca, FIle)
NEW YORK - MARCH 16: Anchor Brian Williams (C), Jane Stoddard Williams (R) and Allison Williams (L) attend the premiere of 'Duplicity' at the Ziegfeld Theater on March 16, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: Actress Allison Williams, Brian Williams and wife Jane Stoddard Williams attend the 2011 American Museum of Natural History gala at the American Museum of Natural History on November 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 30: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Brian Williams and Allison Williams attend the Breast Cancer Foundation's Hot Pink Party at Waldorf Astoria Hotel on April 30, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Actress Allison Williams, Brian Williams and wife Jane Stoddard Williams attending the 2011 American Museum of Natural History gala at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on November 10, 2011.
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

These are the down the 8 most shocking claims surrounding the fall of Williams from the piece.

WATCH: What's Next for Brian Williams?

1. Some believe "he was deeply insecure."

Williams was not a foreign or a war correspondent, which caused him to place more focus on the way he reported stories, often putting himself at the center of the action. Those who argue that he was insecure "suggest that his storied broadcasts from New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which proved a boon to his ratings, were in part an effort to overcome the perception that he was a journalistic lightweight."

2. Everything changed After Tim Russert passed away in 2008.

A former NBC correspondent says that Russert's passing totally changed the direction of NBC News. "Tim was our soul, our conscience," this insider says. "When Tim died, and Brian pushed out John Reiss [former executive producer of the Nightly News], there was no one who could influence Brian in a significant way, who could say, 'Goddammit, Brian, you have to do this.'"

3. The 51st floor executive dining room was a favorite for yelling at people.

"If Brian could've eaten there eight days a week, he would've," a onetime NBC executive said. As several big wigs would also dine there, Williams would allegedly put on a show for NBC execs. "He would hold court at some table, with some poor mid-level schmo who didn't know what was going on," a onetime exec says. "And he would make a point of taking someone down a notch."

4. Williams loved entertainment and late night shows...maybe too much?

No stranger to 30 Rock and Jimmy Fallon, a former NBC executive said about Williams, "He goes on Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon and all that, that's where his heart was, and [at NBC] that's seen as running away from the news division."

WATCH: Brian Williams Covers Snoop Dogg on 'Tonight Show'

5. His wife stood by his side.

After his lie was uncovered, an insider recalls how Williams' wife attempted to explain what may have happened to her husband. "You talked to Brian, and he said, 'I slept two nights under the wing of that helicopter, looking up through the hole in the wing [from the rocket fire]. There was a sandstorm, and somehow, in the process, he said, he must have come to believe he had been on the helicopter. Later, his wife [Jane] tried to explain. She said he put things in boxes [in his mind]. He would only talk about what was in those boxes on-camera."

NEWS: Brian Williams Suspended from 'Nightly News'

6. Williams did not expect a 6-month suspension.

"At that moment Brian assumed he was coming back in a week, four days-something," a person at the crisis meeting said. When they gave him a 6-month suspension and announced it on Feb. 10, Williams was reportedly told, "This is what we're going to do, and we're not going to discuss it. If you want to come back, this is what it will take." And after it was all said and done, a friend of Williams claimed that he said, "chalk one up for Brokaw." Tom Brokaw anchored NBC's Nightly News for 22 years before Williams took over in 2004.

While it remains to be seen what will happen when the suspension ends in August, Lestor Holt will continue to serve as anchor on the Nightly News. There are already rumors about Williams replacing Larry King on CNN.

To read the full Vanity Fair piece, click here.

For more on the Brian Williams' scandal, check out the video below.

Also on AOL:
US Sen. John McCain announces he's running for sixth term
White House staffers dish on private lives of presidents in new book
ABC breaks NBC's winning streak in evening news
Read Full Story

From Our Partners