Ronan Farrow alleges in his new book that Matt Lauer raped his NBC colleague Brooke Nevils.
While one allegation involved a woman who alleges she was assaulted in Lauer’s office in 2001, the other allegation remained unknown to the public. However, in Farrow’s new book, which has been obtained by Variety, former NBC employee Nevils alleges that she was anally raped by the now 61-year-old in 2014.
In 2018, Lauer denied allegations of assault, saying: ‘I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC.
‘However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false.’
According to Variety, Nevils told Farrow that Lauer raped her while at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where she was working with Meredith Vieira.
Nevils alleges that one night, she was drinking with Vieira at their hotel bar and had six shots of tequila when they ran into Lauer.
She claims she went to Lauer’s hotel room twice – once to retrieve her press pass, and once after the star asked her back.
Farrow writes that Nevils had ‘no reason to suspect Lauer would be anything but friendly’.
Nevils reportedly alleges that Lauer, who was wearing a t-shirt and boxers, pushed her against the door to kiss her before pushing her onto the bed, ‘flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex’.
Nevils alleges that she told Lauer multiple times that she didn’t want to, before he ‘just did it’.
Farrow writes: ‘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”.’
Nevils reportedly told Farrow: ‘It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent. It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.’
Nevils told Farrow that she went on to have further sexual encounters with Lauer when they went back to New York City, with ‘sources close to Lauer [emphasising] that she sometimes initiated contact’.
Farrow writes that Nevils told multiple colleagues and superiors at NBC but nothing was pursued until 2017, after allegations of sexual assault and misconduct were made about Harvey Weinstein, leading to the beginning of the #MeToo movement.
Nevils allegedly told Vieira, who urged her to tell NBC Universal resources. However, Nevils alleges that chairman of NBC News and MSNBC Andrew Lack and NBC News president Noah Oppenheim ‘were emphasising that the incident hadn’t been “criminal” or an “assault”‘.
Nevils went on medical leave from NBC in 2017 and was eventually paid ‘seven figures’.
Lauer has yet to comment on the allegations made in Catch and Kill.
At the time of the sexual harassment allegation against Lauer in 2017, the TV star – who worked for NBC for 23 years before he was sacked – said: ‘There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have cause others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realise the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.
‘Some of what is being said about me is untrue or characterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.
‘Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted Lauer’s rep and NBC for comment.
Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow is out on 15 October.
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