We knew that Matt Lauer got fired from “Today” over sexual misconduct. Now – thanks to Ronan Farrow’s new book, “Catch and Kill” – we're learning more about what Brooke Nevils says Lauer has done. Specifically, she accuses him of sexually assault. Nevils says it happened in his hotel room during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Nevils' identity has been kept under wraps at her request - until now.
Nevils, who was Meredith Vieira’s assistant for the trip, says the assault happened after a night of drinking. Basically, she says that she went to Lauer's hotel room and that he threw her down on the bed - forcing a sex act. Nevils maintains she was too drunk to consent...and that she repeatedly said she didn't want the act to take place.
And here's where it gets murky. Nevils admits that she and Lauer did continue having consensual relations when they got back to the States. “This is what I blame myself most for," says Nevils. "It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship.” When they parted ways, Nevils says she was terrified that Lauer could mess with her career. And while she says she told a number of superiors, Nevils says nothing happened until she went to Vieira - who told her to go to NBC Universal human resources with a lawyer, which she did. “Catch and Kill” hits stores on October 15th.
Even though NBC News called Matt’s behavior “appalling, horrific, and reprehensible” in a statement, Nevils claims that her work life there because torture because those loyal to Matt were casting doubt on her claims and passing judgment on her. And while human resources had promised her anonymity, superior’s mentioning Sochi helped people figure it out. She went on medical leave in 2018 and was eventually paid seven figures.
For his part Lauer is denying everything via an open letter. "I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014," he says in part. "It began when she came to my hotel room very late one night in Sochi, Russia...each act was mutual and completely consensual." Lauer goes on to say that calling what happened an assault is “categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense” saying she was an "enthusiastic" and that she hugged him when she left the room. You can read the full text of the letter HERE.
Brooke has also responded to Matt’s letter with a statement of her own. “There’s a Matt Lauer that millions of Americans watched on TV every morning for two decades. And there is the Matt Lauer who this morning attempted to bully a former colleague into silence,” she says. “His open letter was a case study in victim blaming. I am not afraid of him now regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would and now has tried to use against me.”
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