Matt Lauer Has Been Accused of Raping a Former NBC News Colleague
Nearly two years after Matt Lauer was fired from NBC over what was at the time described as "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," his accuser has come forward with her identity and a full account of her allegations. In reporter Ronan Farrow's new book Catch and Kill, former NBC staffer Brooke Nevils alleged that Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
According to excerpts from the book obtained by Variety, Nevils recalled working with former Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira, who had been brought back to the show for Olympics coverage. She said that one night, she and Vieira were having drinks in the hotel NBC News employees were staying in, and Lauer joined them. According to Farrow's book, Nevils had six shots of vodka by the end of the night and went to Lauer's hotel room twice, once to retrieve her press credential, which Lauer had taken as a joke, and the second time because he invited her. Nevils, Farrow wrote, "had no reason to suspect Lauer would be anything but friendly based on prior experience."
Nevils alleged that when she was in his hotel room, Lauer pushed her against the door and kissed her, proceeding to push her onto the bed, “flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex,” Farrow wrote. “She said that she declined several times.”
She "was in the midst of telling him she wasn’t interested again when he 'just did it,'" Farrow wrote. "Lauer, she said, didn’t use lubricant. The encounter was excruciatingly painful. 'It hurt so bad. I remember thinking, Is this normal?' She told me she stopped saying no, but wept silently into a pillow. Lauer then asked her if she liked it. She tells him yes. She claims that 'she bled for days.'"
"It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent," Nevils told Farrow. "It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex."
When they returned to New York City, Nevils and Lauer had further sexual encounters.
“Sources close to Lauer emphasized that she sometimes initiated contact,” Farrow wrote. “What is not in dispute is that Nevils, like several of the women I’d spoken to, had further sexual encounters with the man she said assaulted her.
"This is what I blame myself most for," she told Farrow. "It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship."
In 2017, after the Harvey Weinstein reckoning, Nevils said, former colleagues asked her about Lauer. Nevils then went to Vieira, who urged Nevils to go to NBC Universal human resources with a lawyer, which she did. In November 2017, Lauer was fired from NBC.
“Matt Lauer’s conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time,” NBC News said in a statement to Variety. “That’s why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague.”
In a statement provided to Variety, Lauer denied the allegations, calling the encounter "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," he said. "It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense."