Former Today Show Anchor Matt Lauer Accused Of Rape, But He Says The Claim 'Ignores Common Sense'
Two years after an NBC employee complaint about sexual misconduct led to Today Show anchor Matt Lauer’s shocking termination, that same woman is sharing the details of her allegations in a new book. Former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils kept her identity a secret at the time of the incident, but now she has opened up to journalist Ronan Farrow about how Lauer allegedly raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
In Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators , he interviews Nevils about the complaint she made to NBC execs that led to Lauer’s firing. She says that her job assignment at the Sochi Olympics was to work with Lauer’s former co-anchor Meredith Vieira. However, when she ran into Lauer at the hotel bar after she downed six shots of vodka, things took a wrong turn.
According to Variety , Nevils claims in the book that she went to Lauer’s hotel room twice - once to grab her press pass that Lauer jokingly stole from her, and then a second time after Lauer invited her.
Nevils says that once she was in Lauer’s room, he kissed her and pushed her onto the bed. He then asked her if she enjoyed anal sex, and she says that she “declined several times.” However, Lauer “just did it” anyway without lubricant, and that led to her bleeding “for days.”
“It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” Nevils reportedly told Farrow. “It was non-consensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
Once they returned to New York, Nevils says that she continued to have sex with Lauer, but they were not in a relationship. Instead, she says the sex was “completely transactional.” It wasn’t until the Harvey Weinstein scandal that Nevils decided to speak up after Vieira encouraged her to do so. After NBC fired Lauer, she went on medical leave and the network paid her “seven figures.”
Lauer has said that the accusations made against him are “untrue or mischaracterized.” And, an insider revealed after Lauer’s termination that the 61-year-old thought his relationship with Nevils was “consensual,” and he was “dumbfounded” by her claims.
Now, Lauer is responding to the claims in the book, and he agrees that he started a sexual relationship with Nevils at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. However, he claims they performed a variety of sexual acts on each other, and everything was consensual.
“In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault. It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense,” wrote Lauer.
He went on to accuse Nevils of filling her story with “false details” to create an impression of abuse. Lauer says that Nevils never objected, didn’t cry, and was a “fully enthusiastic and willing partner.” He claims that she knew exactly what she wanted to do, and her only concern was that someone might see her leaving his hotel room. Lauer added that Nevils hugged him before she left.
In a segment during Wednesday’s edition of The Today Show, Savannah Guthrie called Nevils' claims in the book “shocking and appalling.”
“I feel like we owe it to our viewers to pause for a moment,” Guthrie said. “This is shocking and appalling. I honestly don’t even know what to say about it. I want to say, 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 have come forward with claims. And it’s just very painful for all of us at NBC and who are at the Today show. It’s very, very, very difficult.”
Catch and Kill hits stores on October 15th.