MANILA, Philippines – Former NBC Today show anchor Matt Lauer was accused of rape by former NBC News colleague Brooke Nevils, who said he raped her in his hotel room in February 2014, during the Winter Olympics in Sochia, Russia.
Nevils’ accusation was published in Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill, which comes out on Tuesday, October 15.
According to Variety, Nevils said that she was drinking with her friends at a Sochi bar when Lauer joined them. Afterwards, she went to Lauer’s hotel room, where Lauer pushed her onto the bed, and asked if she liked anal sex. Nevils said she declined many times, but he “just did it.”
Describing the experience as “excruciatingly painful,” Nevils said she bled afterwards.
“It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” Nevils told Farrow in the book. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
In response to the allegation, Lauer’s lawyer released a letter to the public on Wednesday, October 9, saying that his “silence has been a mistake” and Nevils “dangerous and defamatory allegation” was just part of an “outrageous, promotional effort” to sell a book.
Lauer denied Nevils’ claims, saying that their first sexual encounter was “consensual” and her story is “filled with false details intended only to create the impression this was an abusive encounter.”
Lauer, who was fired from NBC in November 2017 due to “inappropriate sexual behavior,” admitted to having several other sexual encounters with Nevils over a span of several months, but insisted that he had “never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period.”
He also added that “she was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner,” and at no time did she “behave in a way that made it appear she was incapable of consent. She seemed to know exactly what she wanted to do.”
He also rebutted previous reports that his office had a “secret button” that could lock the door from the inside.
“There was no such locking mechanism. It didn’t exist,” he said.
According to Lauer, the 2014 encounter sparked an affair which persisted upon their return to New York. Nevils didn’t deny their sexual relationship, but said that it was “completely transactional” because of “power dynamics” at the workplace. – Rappler.com