Former NBC staffer accuses Matt Lauer of rape in book

Matt Lauer

Not long after news broke that Ronan Farrow's yet-unreleased book contains a new accusation of rape against Matt Lauer, his former "Today" colleagues spoke out in support of the former NBC News employee, Brooke Nevils, whose report of then-unspecified sexual misconduct led to Lauer's firing two years ago. After concluding that his "silence was a mistake", Lauer writes: "Today, almost two years after I was sacked by NBC, old stories are being recycled, titillating details are being added, and a unsafe and defamatory new allegation is being made". "Catch and Kill" documents his attempts to get that story and includes a damning portrait of NBC News, his former employer.

After she stopped seeing Lauer, Nevils told Farrow she "told like a million people" what had happened with her and Lauer. "It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn't want to have anal sex".

Another source tells us that the decision to fire Lauer was made late Tuesday night by NBC News chairman Andy Lack. She said she had not consented to the sexual act, which she called "excruciatingly painful". That's nearly all of the credit they deserve in this tale, however, as the new revelations force a recalculation of NBC's actions and the timeline of their dealings with Lauer. "Nothing could be further from the truth. Our hearts break for our colleague". In the book, Farrow claims that the new network was obstructive. "There was absolutely nothing aggressive about that encounter".

Host Matt Lauer pauses during a break while filming NBC's "Today" show at Rockefeller Center in NY, on May 3, 2013. She declined several times, but he "just did it", according to the book. She certainly did not cry.

In a three-page open letter released Wednesday, Lauer denounced the account, which he called "a unsafe and defamatory new part of a promotional effort to sell a book". Once in the room, Nevils alleges Lauer pushed her against the door and kissed her. In the letter, he said he had oral sex, vaginal sex and anal sex with Nevils but insisted "each act was mutual and completely consensual". While she was working with Meredith Vieira, the pair ran into Lauer at their hotel and had drinks with him at the bar. She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner.

The disgraced anchor ends by saying he's remained silent until now but feels the need to defend himself. adding that the women he had affairs with "have abandoned shared responsibility, and instead, shielded themselves from blame behind false allegations".

Farrow also makes this point in his book, writing in 2017 that "NBC leadership and the press had deemed" her story "a consensual affair".

Lauer's letter, which is blunt and occasionally graphic in its details, argues that Nevils' story is "filled with contradictions". The people who should be addressing it are NBC execs who knew about this and did nothing except cover it up, and then try to shut down Farrow's reporting on Weinstein over what now looks like an attempt to keep the cover on Lauer's predation.

Nevils went on medical leave in 2018 and was paid a seven-figure sum by NBC.

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