Matt Lauer Accused of Raping NBC Colleague, He Calls Allegations ‘Categorically False’
Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill includes a detailed description of Brooke Nevils’ allegations against Matt Lauer.
According to Variety, the book features details from Nevils, whose allegations against Lauer resulted in his termination from Today in 2017, that had previously been kept out of reports. The former NBC News employee accuses Lauer of anally raping her at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
According this latest report, Nevils went to Lauer’s hotel room twice one night after having drinks with him and Meredith Vieira, first after he’d taken her press credential “as a joke” and then on his invitation, at which time he was in a T-shirt and boxers. She “had no reason to suspect Lauer would be anything but friendly based on prior experience,” according to Farrow. However, he allegedly kissed her and pushed her against the door and on the bed, “flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex,” he continued. “She said that she declined several times,” but he “just did it” and “didn’t use lubricant.”
Farrow wrote that Nevils told him, “it hurt so bad. I remember thinking, is this normal?” and “it was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent. It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
After the Olympics, Nevils was scared because she felt Lauer had “control … over her career.” Though she “sometimes initiated contact” in their sexual encounters after that, Farrow noted that was true with other women as well. “It was completely transactional,” Nevils told him. “It was not a relationship.”
On Today on Wednesday, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb addressed the allegations. “This is shocking and appalling,” Guthrie said. “I know it wasn’t easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then. It’s not easy now. And we support her and any women who’ve come forward with claims.”
“You feel like you’ve known someone for 12 years,” Kotb added. “And then all of a sudden, a door opens up and it’s a part of them you didn’t know. We don’t know all of the facts in all of this, but they are not allegations of an affair, they’re allegations of a crime. … Our thoughts are with Brooke. It’s not easy what she did to come forward. It’s not easy at all.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 9, 2019
“I think I speak for all of us,” Guthrie said in conclusion. “We are disturbed to our core and we have a commitment to keep you informed and we will continue to do that.”
Lauer responded to the allegations in a letter Wednesday. “In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault,” he wrote. “It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense.”
According to Lauer, “each act” of his and Nevils’ encounter in Sochi “was mutual and completely consensual” and she “did not do or say anything to object.”
“Brooke now says that she was terrified about the control I had over her career and felt pressure to agree to our encounters after Sochi,” he continued. “But at no time during our relationship did Brooke work for me, the Today Show, or NBC News. She worked for Meredith Vieira (who had not worked for the Today Show in several years) in a completely different part of the network, and I had no role in reviewing Brooke’s work.”
You can read his entire letter sent to Variety by his lawyer.