- The allegations that got Matt Lauer fired from the “Today” show are finally being revealed in Ronan Farrow’s new book, “Catch and Kill.”
- Variety, which said it received an advance copy of the book, reported that Lauer’s accuser was Brooke Nevils, who reported that Lauer had raped her while they were working at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
- Representatives of Lauer sent Insider a lengthy statement responding to the allegations Wednesday morning, claiming the encounter was consensual.
- Farrow’s book was reportedly vigorously fact-checked. Insider has not independently verified the claims in Lauer’s letter.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The sexual-misconduct allegations that got Matt Lauer fired from the “Today” show in 2017 are being revealed for the first time in Ronan Farrow’s coming book, “Catch and Kill.”
Variety, which obtained a preview copy, reports that Farrow interviewed Lauer’s accuser, whose identity is revealed for the first time.
Brooke Nevils was an NBC News staffer, who flew to the 2014 Sochi Olympics to work with Meredith Vieira, who was brought back from retirement to coanchor the “Today” show from the Russia games.
She alleges that Lauer raped her one night after drinking with him at the hotel bar.
Nevils told Farrow she and Vieira went to the hotel bar after work one night and ran into Lauer, who joined them. She said she proceeded to drink six shots of vodka and ended up going back to Lauer’s room twice that night. The first time, she said, was to get her press credentials, which Lauer had playfully stolen from her. The second time was after Lauer invited her back.
According to the book, she “had no reason to suspect Lauer would be anything but friendly based on prior experience.”
On the second trip back to the room, Nevils said Lauer kissed her, pushed her on the bed, and kept asking if she liked anal sex. She said she declined several times.
Farrow writes that Nevils “was in the midst of telling him she wasn’t interested again when he ‘just did it.'” She said that the encounter was painful and that she “bled for days.”
Lauer was fired from NBC after Nevils filed a complaint
While Nevils said she told several people about what happened to her, she didn’t report him until seeing the response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal in 2017. It was then that she decided to tell Vieira what happened, who told her she should go to human resources. Lauer was swiftly fired, though NBC News did not release many details about what the accusation was at the time.
Nevils also says in the book that she had sex with Lauer multiple times after returning to New York, and sources close to Lauer emphasized to Farrow that Nevils was sometimes the person who initiated sex.
Nevils said she blamed herself for this, but stresses “it was completely transactional. It was not a relationship.” And regarding what happened in Sochi, there is no doubt in her mind that it was rape because she was “too drunk to consent” and she said “multiple times” that she didn’t want to have sex.
Farrow also adds that many of the sexual-assault victims he has interviewed said they had sex again with the men who assaulted them.
The book was reportedly vigorously fact-checked. One phone call between fact-checker Sean Lavery and NBC lasted 10 hours, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
When contacted by Variety about the allegations detailed in Farrow’s book, NBC News released the following statement: “Matt Lauer’s conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time. That’s why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague.”
Insider reached out to representatives of Lauer for comment Wednesday morning, and they responded with this statement:
Insider has not independently verified the claims in Lauer’s letter.
Farrow’s book, “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators,” is due out on October 15.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit hotline.rainn.org/online and receive confidential support.