The woman who accused Matt Lauer of rape has come forward
Ronan Farrow’s new book, “Catch and Kill,” will mostly chronicle the reporting he did to break the story that Harvey Weinstein had been exploiting, manipulating, and assaulting women for much of his career. But it’s impossible to tell that story without touching on other explosive moments of the #MeToo era, and one of the most shocking and heart wrenching interviews in the book is actually about Matt Lauer.
The interview is with Brooke Nevils, a former NBC News employee who came forward to say Lauer had raped her, resulting in his firing from the Today show. At the time, she wanted to stay anonymous. Her name and the horrifying details of her report are being made public for the first time in Farrow’s book.
It was while the were in Sochi, Russia, to cover the 2014 Winter Olympics, Nevils said, that Lauer raped her in his hotel room. She told Farrow she was working with Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira, and while the two were having drinks at the hotel bar, they ran into Lauer. Nevils said Lauer invited her to his hotel room later, and because she had had no experiences to suggest he was being anything other than friendly, she went.
When she arrived at the room, she told Farrow, Lauer pushed her onto the bed, “flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex. She said that she declined several times.” According to Farrow’s writing, Nevils “was in the midst of telling him she wasn’t interested again when he ‘just did it.’ 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.”
At the same time these new details about the allegations are coming out, Lauer has resurfaced since his disgraced firing from NBC, acting like a goofy dad in his kids’ TikTok videos. His actions are particularly chilling considering how horrifying these allegations are.
Lauer also released an open letter, claiming that his sexual encounter with Nevils was 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,” he wrote. “It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense.” He also suggests the women he had affairs with are simply feeling regret and guilt for cheating and are instead saying he assaulted them to “avoid having to look a boyfriend, husband, or a child in the eye and say ‘I cheated.'”
But since Lauer was fired, more women have come forward with accusations against him. Ann Curry said she warned NBC years before Lauer was fired that a staffer had confided in her after he sexually assaulted her. In the post-#MeToo age, men don’t get away with this kind of behavior anymore, and Matt Lauer’s career hasn’t recovered, as it shouldn’t.
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