Matt Lauer is pushing back on accusations that he raped a former NBC colleague, calling their encounter in a Sochi hotel in 2014 “consensual.”
“In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault. It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense,” he wrote in a letter to Variety on Wednesday.
Variety published the allegations made by Brooke Nevils in Ronan Farrow’s forthcoming book Catch and Kill earlier in the day.
Nevils said she had six shots of vodka before she ended up in Lauer’s hotel room, where he allegedly pushed her against the door and kissed her. He then forced her on the bed “flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex,” Farrow wrote. “She said that she declined several times.”
Lauer claimed he and Nevils “engaged in a variety of sexual acts” that night, including oral sex, vaginal sex, and anal sex.
“Each act was mutual and completely consensual,” he said.
The two continued seeing each other after returning to New York. Lauer accused Nevils of making up the rape allegation because she was upset by how he ended their affair.
“Brooke now says that she was terrified about the control I had over her career and felt pressure to agree to our encounters after Sochi. But at no time during our relationship did Brooke work for me, the Today Show, or NBC News. She worked for Meredith Vieira (who had not worked for the Today Show in several years) in a completely different part of the network, and I had no role in reviewing Brooke’s work," he said.
“I admit, I ended the affair poorly. I simply stopped communicating with her. Brooke continued to reach out. She admitted to NBC at the time she filed her complaint that she called me late at night while I was home with my family in an effort to rekindle the affair. But I attempted to go back to my life and pretend as if nothing had happened. I understand how that must have made her feel. However, being upset or having second thoughts does not give anyone the right to make false accusations years later about an affair in which they fully and willingly participated,” he continued.
Nevils said she told “like a million people” about the situation, including her superiors, after the encounters stopped. She then moved to NBC’s Peacock Productions to be a producer “and reported it to one of her new bosses there.” Nevils also told Vieira what happened, and Vieira urged her to NBC Universal human resources with a lawyer.
She said she was then bullied at work by colleagues who were loyal to Lauer. She went on medical leave in 2018 and was paid “seven figures,” according to Farrow.