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On Wednesday morning, a rape allegation against former NBC daytime news star Matt Lauer hit the press. Brooke Nevils, a former NBC News employee, claimed she was anally raped by Lauer in 2014 while covering the Sochi Olympics.
The accusation was detailed in journalist Ronan Farrow’s book “Catch and Kill” and picked up by Variety.
Lauer has since flatly denied the accusation of rape, adding that it “defies common sense.”
Nevils told Farrow that she, then — “Today” anchor Meredith Vieira, and Lauer had drinks at the hotel bar the NBC team was staying at during the Olympics. After socializing, Nevils said she went to Lauer’s hotel room to get back her press credentials, which she said were taken by Lauer as a joke. She then returned to his room a second time upon invite, when the alleged rape took place.
“Once she was in his hotel room, Nevils alleges, Lauer — who was wearing a T-shirt and boxers — pushed her against the door and kissed her. He then pushed her onto the bed, ‘flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex,’ Farrow writes. ‘She said that she declined several times,’” the Variety report said.
Nevils claims she “was in the midst of telling him she wasn’t interested again when he ‘just did it,’” Farrow wrote in the book. “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.”
“It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” the former NBC employee told Farrow. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
Nevils admitted that she had consensual, though she described them as “transactional,” sexual encounters with Lauer, some of which she initiated, after the alleged rape.
The allegation was an open secret at NBC for years, Nevils claimed.
“She told colleagues and superiors at NBC,” Farrow said in the book, adding, “This was no secret.”
In 2017, however, Nevils was encouraged by Vieira to go to NBC Universal human resources with a lawyer and make the complaint. Lauer was soon fired, though he denied any accusations of coercion.
Lauer’s lawyer sent an open letter to Variety soon after the rape allegation hit the media on Wednesday, wherein Lauer denies all coercion claims by Nevils.
“In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault,” Lauer said. “It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense.”
“I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014,” the 61-year-old continued. “It began when she came to my hotel room very late one night in Sochi, Russia. We engaged in a variety of sexual acts. We performed oral sex on each other, we had vaginal sex, and we had anal sex. Each act was mutual and completely consensual.”
Mere hours after the allegation hit the media, “Today” show hosts Savanah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb reacted to the “shocking” claim.
Overnight, troubling new allegations about former TODAY anchor Matt Lauer were revealed from journalist Ronan Farrow’s soon-to-be-released book “Catch and Kill.” @MorganRadford reports the details. pic.twitter.com/7ooO3oAJ5X
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 9, 2019