Woman accuses Matt Lauer of rape; former anchor denies claim

Lula Sharp
October 9, 2019

Brooke Nevils makes her claim in Ronan Farrow's book, Catch and Kill, a copy of which was obtained by Variety.

It was only after the revelations of sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein emerged in late 2017, setting off the #MeToo movement, that Nevils went to Vieira and told her about her experience with Lauer.

She says it happened after a night of drinking with Lauer and others at a hotel bar. He then pushed her onto the bed, "flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex", Farrow writes. "It was completely transactional". She told him yes, and later claimed that "she bled for days", Farrow continued. "It was not a relationship", she said. The encounter was excruciatingly painful.

"It hurt so bad", she said in the book. Lauer then asked her if she liked it. In fact, he says she embraced him as she left.

"It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent", Nevils said. "It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn't want to have anal sex".

Both Nevils and Lauer have said the sexual relationship carried on once they returned to NY.

"This was no secret", Farrow writes. "'This is what I blame myself most for, '" she says to Farrow.

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Lauer's letter, which is blunt and occasionally graphic in its details, argues that Nevils' story is "filled with contradictions".

She was terrified about the control Lauer had over her career. In it, former NBC staffer Brooke Nevils tells her story publicly for the first time. Farrow highlighted a tense phone call he had with NBC News general counsel Susan Weiner about his status with the network, and after pointing to other examples, he expressed his view that he is nearly completely blacklisted by NBC now.

NBC News did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for additional comment. Though Nevils had not wanted money, she went on medical leave in 2018, and was eventually paid, Farrow writes, "seven figures". Nevils alleges she and Vieira were at the hotel bar where the NBC News team was staying one night when they ran into Lauer. "She was made to sit in the same meetings as everyone else, discussing the news, and in all of them colleagues loyal to Lauer cast doubt on the claims, and judgment on her". This matches up with reporting at the time of Lauer's termination. It's not easy what she did to come forward. That's why he was sacked within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint.

Perhaps the confusion stemmed from the Rio Olympics having been more recent (2016, the previous year). They have reluctantly and quietly reached out in the past two years and shared what they know. That would belie the analysts at the time who called NBC News President Andrew Lack's actions "swift".

"TODAY" reporter Morgan Radford was tasked with delivering the report to their audience this morning, while anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb reacted candidly about the "troubling" allegations against their former coworker. They wasted no time addressing the serious accusation on "Today".

Matt says that account is "categorically false" though, going on to explain that the episode was completely wanted and reciprocated on both sides. which carried over into what he describes as an "extramarital affair" back in NY.

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