WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Matt Lauer on Wednesday denied a sexual assault allegation by former NBC News staffer Brooke Nevils, who told investigative journalist Ronan Farrow that the former ‘Today’ host raped her in Russia in 2014.
- Nevils told Farrow that Lauer anally raped her when she was intoxicated and unable to consent, Variety reported.
- Lauer confirmed in a letter that he had an affair with Nevils but said it was “completely consensual” and that his affair with Nevils continued after Russia for several months.
Former “Today” host Matt Lauer on Wednesday denied a rape allegation by a former NBC News colleague.
His accuser, Brooke Nevils, told investigative journalist Ronan Farrow that Lauer raped her while they were in Russia in 2014 for the Sochi Olympics.
The sexual assault allegation is detailed in an upcoming book from Farrow.
Matt Lauer said in the letter: “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.”
The former NBC host added that Nevils mischaracterized their first sexual encounter.
According to Farrow’s book, Nevils told the journalist that Lauer anally raped her when she was intoxicated and unable to consent, Variety reported. She reportedly told Lauer repeatedly she did not want to have anal sex and that she cried during the assault.
“It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” Nevils told Farrow, according to Variety. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
Lauer was fired by NBC shortly after Nevils accused the host of inappropriate sexual behavior.
In a statement issued following the Variety report, NBC News said: “Matt Lauer’s conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time. That’s why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague.”
Lauer said in the letter that Nevils was a “willing partner” because “she did not do or say anything to object,” adding that “she certainly did not cry.”
Nevils did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Lauer also said that his affair with Nevils continued after Russia for several months. He even noted a sexual encounter with her in his dressing room.
Nevils told Farrow that she had subsequent sexual encounters with Lauer, but it was only because she was afraid Lauer could hurt her career.
“This is what I blame myself most for,'” she told Farrow, according to Variety. “It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship.”
Nevils’ motive for coming forward was questioned by Lauer but Farrow reported that Nevils did not seek payment from NBC before going on medical leave in 2018. However, Variety reported that she eventually accepted a seven-figure settlement.
Source: NBC News