Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Matt Lauer raped NBC colleague, says Ronan Farrow book

Hoda Kotb Savannah Guthrie CREDIT Courtesy of NBC News
Lora Ball | 09 October, 2019, 18:55

In Farrow's new book, "Catch and Kill", ex-NBC staffer Brooke Nevils goes on the record, detailing an incident in a Sochi, Russia hotel room where Matt Lauer allegedly raped her, according to Variety, which obtained a copy of the book.

Nevils says in the book that she had more sexual encounters with Lauer back in New York City, according to Variety, telling Farrow: "It was completely transactional".

According to Nevil, she was at the Olympics working with "Today" co-ancvhor Merediths Vieira. At the end of the night, Nevils, who'd had six shots of vodka, ended up going 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 back.

While Nevils said she "had no reason to suspect Lauer would be anything but friendly based on prior experience", she told Farrow that when she returned, she found him in his boxers and T-shirt, and he pushed her on the bed and asked if she likes anal sex, Variety's report claims. She said she cried the whole time and was in awful pain. "I remember thinking, 'Is this normal?'" She told me she stopped saying 'no, ' but wept silently into a pillow".

She points out that she was both too drunk to give consent and voiced her non-consent many times. "It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn't want to have anal sex". "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". Nevils told Vieira what happened, said the book. She was urged to go to NBCUniversal human resources with a lawyer; Lauer was sacked soon thereafter.

As for the state of her relationship with Lauer at the time of the interview, Vieira said, "It's so complicated".

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In a statement read Wednesday on "Today", NBC News said, "Matt Lauer's conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time". That's why he was sacked within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. "Our hearts break for our colleague". Lauer again said it was consensual. It was her complaint that led to Lauer's firing in November 2017. "And I honestly don't even know what to say about it". "We don't know all the facts in all of this, but they're not allegations of an affair, they're allegations of a crime, and I think that's shocking to all of us here who have sat with Matt for many, many years", Kotb said.

Farrow is best known as one of the journalists who broke the story about sexual assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

Her account is sure to prompt new questions about whether she felt protected by NBC.

Lauer begins his letter by addressing his decision to not speak out against what he called "some of the false and salacious allegations leveled at me". "Catch and Kill" documents his attempts to get that story and includes a damning portrait of NBC News, his former employer.

Lauer was sacked from his position in 2017 after 20 years with NBC News. Farrow highlighted a tense phone call he had with NBC News general counsel Susan Weiner about his status with the network, and after pointing to other examples, he expressed his view that he is nearly completely blacklisted by NBC now.

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