The NBC producer who accused Matt Lauer of anal rape is slamming his 1,400 word open letter where he angrily denied her allegation and called the alleged assault consensual.
Brooke Nevil, 35, released a statement to NBC News, calling Lauer’s letter ‘a case study in victim shaming’.
‘There’s a Matt Lauer that millions of Americans watched on TV every morning for two decades. And there is the Matt Lauer who this morning attempted to bully a former colleague into silence,’ the statement reads.
‘His open letter was a case study in victim blaming. I am not afraid of him now regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would and now has tried to use against me.’
Brooke Nevils has released a statement slamming Lauer for ‘victim shaming’ her
Brooke Nevils agreed to be named in Ronan Farrow’s new book where she tells how Matt Lauer ‘anally raped’ her in 2014 while they were working for NBC to cover the Sochi Winter Olympics. Lauer is shown, right, at the Games
Nevils, a 35-year-old NBC producer, was was in Russia for the Sochi Winter Olympics with him and Meredith Vieira in 2014 where she claims he anally raped her.
In 2017, she reported him for allegedly sexually assaulting her one night during the Olympics and it was her allegation that led to him being fired.
It was reported at the time but now, Nevils has agreed to be named and is speaking on the record to share more details of the alleged rape in Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill.
She claimed that Lauer – who was married at the time – pushed her onto a bed and had anal sex with her despite her telling him she did not want to after a night of drinking in Sochi. She said they were in his hotel room and he was wearing boxers and a t-shirt. Among other things, she said she ‘wept silently into a pillow’ while he had sex with her and that it ‘hurt’.
Lauer hit back in a three-page, 1,400 word response on Wednesday, saying that while they did have anal sex, it was consensual. He went into graphic detail about the Sochi incident and described others – including having sex in his Today dressing room – and called Nevils a ‘willing partner’.
‘It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense,’ he said of the rape allegation.
‘I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014. It began when she came to my hotel room very late one night in Sochi, Russia. We engaged in a variety of sexual acts. We performed oral sex on each other, we had vaginal sex, and we had anal sex.
‘Each act was mutual and completely consensual,’ he said in the letter which his attorneys gave DailyMail.com.
He went on to say she ‘certainly did not cry’, ‘was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner’ and ’embraced’ him at the door ‘as she left’.
He claims that it was the start of a months-long affair during which they met up at his apartment and in bars.
On one occasion, Lauer said they had sex in his dressing room at Today.
‘It showed terrible judgment on my part, but it was completely mutual and consensual,’ he wrote.
The former Today star fumed that Nevils’ allegations are among others that are ‘false’ but that he has stayed silent about – including what he says is a false claim he kept a button in his office which he could press to lock the room from the inside.
One accuser said he did so sometimes to have privacy with sexual partners.
‘There was no such locking mechanism. It didn’t exist. NBC confirmed this fact publicly following my termination.
‘It would have been impossible to confine anyone in my office, for any purpose, and I have never attempted to make anyone feel as if they were confined in my office.
‘I have never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period,’ he said.
Lauer released a three page, 1,400 word letter on Wednesday to defend himself
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, who replaced Lauer on Today in 2017, said on Wednesday they were ‘disturbed to their core’ by the claims and that they supported Nevils.
Nevils was working as a producer for Meredith Vieira at the time and says she went to Lauer’s room after a night of drinking while the pair were part of a larger NBC team based in Sochi.
It was the second time that night she had gone to his room. The first, she said, was to retrieve her media credentials which she says Lauer took ‘as a joke’ and the second was because he invited her back.
She claims he was dressed in a t-shirt and boxers and, she said, pushed her against the door and kissed her when she got into the room. At the time, she was 30 and he was 56. He then, she claims, pushed her onto the bed, flipped her over and asked ‘if she liked anal sex.’
‘She said that she declined several times,’ Farrow wrote in the book, according to Variety which obtained a copy of it and published the new details on Wednesday.
Farrow wrote that Nevils was ‘in the midst of telling him “no” when he “just did it”.
‘Lauer, she said, didn’t use lubricant. The encounter was excruciatingly painful. ‘
Nevils agreed to be named as she told her story to Ronan Farrow (above) who has included it in his new book
“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,”‘ Farrow wrote.
Nevils said she was both ‘too drunk’ to consent and that she said no ‘multiple times’, according to 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,’ Farrow said she told him.
Once the pair got back to New York, they had more sexual encounters.
Farrow says that sources ‘close to Lauer’ say she initiated those encounters.
‘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.
“This is what I blame myself most for. It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship,”‘ she said.
Nevils said she was ‘terrified’ about the control Lauer had over her career.
But Nevils says her allegations were dismissed by staff who said Lauer had done nothing ‘criminal’.
‘This was not a secret,’ Farrow writes, citing her claim that ‘like a million people knew’.
It was only when the #MeToo movement against Harvey Weinstein erupted that Nevils was sincerely asked by Today colleagues about Lauer who had a reputation for infidelity and impropriety.
It was then she went to Meredith Vieira, who she had been working for at the time, and told her what had happened, she said.
Farrow’s book ‘Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to protect Predators’ is scheduled for release on October 15
Farrow writes that Vieira told her to go to NBC HR with a lawyer and that she was ‘distraught’.
‘Nevils’s work life became torture. She was made to sit in the same meetings as everyone else, discussing the news, and in all of them colleagues loyal to Lauer cast doubt on the claims, and judgment on her,’ Farrow wrote.
Farrow also claims that because Andrew Lack, NBC’s Chairman, wrote in an email to staff that Lauer had been fired over an alleged incident which occurred at the Sochi Games, it narrowed down the list of possibilities as to who his alleged victim might be.
She had been promised anonymity, she said, but everyone soon figured out that she was the person who had reported him.
Nevils said she then went on paid medical leave and eventually took a payout from NBC.
She still works for NBC, in its long-form production unit, Peacock Productions.
Farrow says it was a seven-figure sum but that it came with a ‘script’ from executives who wanted her to paint the network glowingly.
‘The network proposed a script she would have to read, suggesting that she had left to pursue other endeavors, that she was treated well, and that NBC News was a positive example of sexual harassment,’ he wrote.
Sources at NBC told Variety they were yet to read the book, but they plan to defend the company against any of Farrow’s criticisms.
Lauer was fired from his $25million-per-year post on Today hours after the woman informed NBC executives of the affair.
Lauer has been a hermit for the last two years. He is shown above in a Tik Tok video posted online by his daughter this week
ANDY LACK MEMO TO STAFF ON RONAN FARROW
Farrow’s book makes new allegations about how NBC Chairman Andrew Lack handled the Weinstein scandal and his attempts to report on it
This morning, reporting around Ronan Farrow’s new book revealed deeply disturbing details related to the incident that led to Matt Lauer’s termination from NBC. I want to take a moment to communicate with you about this.
First, and most importantly, in reading today’s news our hearts go out to our former colleague.
Matt Lauer’s conduct in 2014 was appalling and reprehensible – and of course we said so at the time. The first moment we learned of it was the night of November 27, 2017, and he was fired in 24 hours. Any suggestion that we knew prior to that evening or tried to cover up any aspect of Lauer’s conduct is absolutely false and offensive.
Following Lauer’s firing, NBCU’s legal team did an exhaustive investigation of available records and conducted dozens of interviews of past and present staff. They uncovered no claims or settlements associated with allegations of inappropriate conduct by Lauer before he was fired. Only following his termination did NBCU reach agreements with two women who had come forward for the very first time, and those women have always been free to share their stories about Lauer with anyone they choose.
Today, some have questioned why we used the term “sexual misconduct” to describe the reason for Lauer’s firing in the days following. We chose those words carefully to precisely mirror the public words at that time of the attorney representing our former NBC colleague.
In the past two years we have taken significant steps to improve our culture and ensure we have a workplace where everyone feels safe and respected, as well as protected in raising claims. Since then, we’ve required all NBC News employees to complete in-person workplace behavior trainings and we’ve significantly increased awareness of the ways employees can report concerns – anonymously or otherwise.
In addition to his reporting on Lauer, Farrow’s new book also includes his telling of the NBC News investigation of Harvey Weinstein.
As you know, our news organization is filled with dedicated, professional journalists, including some of the best and most experienced investigative reporters, as well as others who support our reporting with exceptional talent, integrity and decency. It disappoints me to say that even with passage of time, Farrow’s account has become neither more accurate, nor more respectful of the dedicated colleagues he worked with here at NBC News. He uses a variety of tactics to paint a fundamentally untrue picture.
Here are the essential and indisputable facts: NBC News assigned the Harvey Weinstein story to Ronan, we completely supported it over many months with resources – both financial and editorial. After seven months, without one victim or witness on the record, he simply didn’t have a story that met our standard for broadcast nor that of any major news organization. Not willing to accept that standard and not wanting to get beaten by the New York Times, he asked to take his story to an outlet he claimed was ready to publish right away. Reluctantly, we allowed him to go ahead. Fifty-three days later, and five days after the New York Times did indeed break the story, he published an article at the New Yorker that bore little resemblance to the reporting he had while at NBC News.
Let me remind you of who we really are. Our journalists have been at the forefront of blockbuster investigations into sexual harassment and abuse on many stories – many pre-dating Weinstein – including USA Gymnastics, Silicon Valley, Bill Cosby, Jeffrey Epstein, and more. To get across the finish line on big stories like these takes exceptional work, collaboration, patience, and a commitment to a set of standards and practices that ultimately lends our work great credibility.
If you have any questions about the journalistic decisions that were made, please don’t hesitate to ask. Similarly, should you have any questions about the decisions surrounding Matt Lauer’s termination, please do exactly what we all do best here, ask the tough questions.
Thanks for your thoughtfulness and consideration.
The book also contains more details of how Farrow was turned away by NBC – his then employer – when he started investigating Harvey Weinstein.
The journalist’s expose against the disgraced media mogul was published by The New Yorker and helped, alongside a first piece in The New York Times, to bring down Weinstein.
Farrow says he first took the reporting to NBC but that it was vetoed by NBC President Noah Oppenheim.
NBC has said in the past that Farrow’s reporting did not meet its editorial standards because he did not have enough women willing to on record to say that Weinstein assaulted them.
Lauer and his wife Annette Roque (above in 2013) finalised their divorce last month, two years after they split amid the sexual misconduct allegations against him
In Catch and Kill, he claims Oppenheim asked him: ‘Like, is this really worth it?’ when he presented his findings on Weinstein.
He also alleges that Oppenheim suggested no one would ‘know who Weinstein’ was.
‘DISTURBED TO OUR CORE’: SAVANNAH GUTHRIE AND HODA KOTB REACT TO RAPE CLAIMS
Hoda Kotb, who replaced Lauer on Today after his firing in 2017, and Savannah Guthrie reacted somberly on air to the allegations on Wednesday.
The pair had introduced a package on the allegations that another reporter presented.
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb are shown on Wednesday addressing the new allegations
At the end of it, they addressed the new claims themselves.
‘We owe it to our viewers to pause for a moment. This is shocking and appalling and, I honestly don’t even know what to say about it.
‘I want to say that we, I know it wasn’t easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then, it wasn’t easy now, and we support her and any women who have come forward with claims.
‘It’s just very painful for all of us at NBC and at the Today show. It’s very, very, very difficult,’ Guthrie said.
Kotb added: ‘I am looking at you and having a weird moment. We were sitting here like this two years ago and truth to be told, Savannah and I did a little prayer upstairs before just to sort out what we were going to do.
‘It’s like, you feel like you’ve known someone for 12 years, I don’t know if you guys have ever felt like that, you feel like you know them inside out and all of a sudden a door opens up it’s a part of them you didn’t know. We don’t know all the facts of this.
‘There are not allegations of an affair. There are allegations of a crime.’
She went on: ‘Our thoughts are with Brooke. It’s not easy what she did, to come forward, it’s not easy at all.’
Savannah added: ‘I think I speak for all of us.
‘We are disturbed to our core and we have a commitment to keep you informed and we will continue to do that.’
Farrow says he was then instructed to cease work on the story by Richard Greenberg, the head of the NBC News investigative unit.
Farrow says Greenberg told him it was an order that had come from Lack and Steve Burke, the CEO of NBCUniversal.
An NBC spokesman told DailyMail.com on Wednesday morning: ‘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.’
In the past, the network has refuted Farrow’s claims that it killed the story, saying: ‘The assertion that NBC News tried to kill the Weinstein story while Ronan Farrow was at NBC News, or even more ludicrously, after he left NBC News, is an outright lie.’
At least four other women came forward in the wake of Lauer’s firing with their own allegations of sexual harassment.
One woman told the Washington Post that the anchor exposed himself in his office and asked her to touch him.
A second said she had sex with Lauer in his office in the middle of the work day and a third claimed that he gave her a sex toy.
Former Today production assistant Addie Zinone alleged that she had a troubled, but consensual, relationship with Lauer in 2000.
Lauer refused to comment on any allegations of misconduct, claiming in April 2018 that he wanted to ‘protect’ his family from ’embarrassment’.
He and his wife Annette Roque separated in the wake of the allegations and finalized their divorce earlier this month.
The couple had been together for over 20 years and share three children – son Jack, 18, daughter Romy, 15, and son Thijs, 12.
Roque issued a statement through her lawyer, John M. Teitler, on Wednesday evening which read: ‘In response to your inquiry, our client has asked us to tell you that now that the parties are officially divorced, her priority and only concern is for their wonderful children. Our client will make no further statements.’
Lauer has hired a team of lawyers ahead of the October 15 release of ‘Catch and Kill’, Page Six reported, citing an informant who said the disgraced anchor and his team were given the opportunity to fact-check and comment on the book.
Publishers at Little, Brown and Company declined to comment but said they are ‘extremely proud of the important reporting in “Catch and Kill”, which has been meticulously fact-checked and vetted’.
Farrow, son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the extensive cover-up of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct on the leading edge of the #MeToo movement two years ago.
The book is marketed as ‘the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth’, detailing ‘surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability and silence victims of abuse.’
Harvey Weinstein ‘knew about Matt Lauer misconduct allegations and blackmailed NBC – with help of the National Enquirer – to stop them publishing stories about him’
It has long been documented that Ronan Farrow took his reporting on Harvey Weinstein to NBC before he published it in The New Yorker and helped bring the disgraced movie mogul to justice.
He has also intimated in the past that NBC pressured him to drop the story and that it was protecting Weinstein, something the network has always denied.
In his new book, Farrow however claims that NBC was being blackmailed by American Media Inc., which owns The National Enquirer, and that Weinstein was behind it.
According to sources cited by Farrow, Weinstein knew that he was closing in on him and he did not want his alleged misconduct to become public.
In one phone call to Andy Lack, Farrow reports that Weinstein told him: ‘It was the ’90s. You know? Did I go out with an assistant or two that I shouldn’t have, did I sleep with one or two of them, sure. We all did that.’
He says Lack replied: ‘Harvey, say no more. We’ll look into it.’
Farrow does not say who he got details of the phone calls from.
NBC denied the claim that it squashed the story after receiving pressure from Weinstein and AMI.
‘NBC News was never contacted by AMI, or made aware in any way of any threats from them, or from anyone else, for that matter.
‘And the idea of NBC News taking a threat seriously from a tabloid company about Matt Lauer is especially preposterous, since they already covered him with great regularity,’ a spokesman said.
Weinstein’s ‘attempts’ to leverage Hillary Clinton and even Woody Allen to try to stop Farrow’s report
Weinstein’s alleged attempts to silence Farrow’s report are also described in the book.
According to Farrow, he received an email from Clinton’s publicist Nick Merrill who said his ‘big story’ was ‘of concern for us’.
Weinstein was a frequent Clinton donor and he had also supported other Democratic candidates.
When the Weinstein scandal broke, Merrill denied that either he or anyone in Clinton’s camp knew about it.
Weinstein, Farrow claims, called his estranged father Woody Allen and asked him for help when he knew Farrow was closing in on him. Allen told him: ‘Jeez, I’m so sorry. Good luck,’ Farrow claims
‘We were shocked when we learned what he’d done. It’s despicable behavior, and the women that have come forward have shown enormous courage. As to claims about a warning, that’s something staff wouldn’t forget,’ he said.
Uncle: John Villiers-Farrow was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the sexual abuse of two young boys
He has not responded to the more recent allegations.
Farrow also describes how Weinstein called his father, Woody Allen, for help to silence him.
Farrow reports that his father told Weinstein: ‘Jeez, I’m so sorry. Good luck.’
Farrow and his father are estranged due to his sister Dylan’s claim that he molested her when she was a child.
Weinstein’s former attorney also said in a letter that Farrow was motivated to investigate the story because he wanted to exact revenge on behalf of his sister.
‘Mr. Farrow is entitled to his private anger,’ Charles Harder, one of Epstein’s old attorneys, wrote.
He also mentioned Mia’s brother who was once sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing two boys and said Farrow had done nothing to publicly denounce him.
‘We have yet to find any evidence that Ronan Farrow has publicly denounced his uncle, and he might have publicly supported him.’
Ronan Farrow went to Lauer for career advice before the scandal erupted and Lauer congratulated him for exposing Weinstein
Farrow recalls going to Lauer’s office in December 2016 to ask for career advice from the ‘biggest star in morning TV’ as he was at the time.
Ronan, it’s Matt Lauer. Let me be the 567th person to say congratulations on an amazing piece!’
A text Lauer sent to Farrow in October 2017 after his Weinstein story was published in The New Yorker
‘I was struggling to find a niche,’ Farrow wrote.
He said Lauer asked him where he saw himself in a few years and he said he wanted to be an anchor.
‘You’re searching for something. Maybe you’ll find it.
‘But you’re going to have to figure out yourself what you really care about,’ Farrow claims Lauer told him.
After he broke his story on Weinstein in The New Yorker, Lauer texted him to say congratulations.
‘Ronan, it’s Matt Lauer. Let me be the 567th person to say congratulations on an amazing piece!’
Megyn Kelly told Farrow: ‘You’re kind of a rookie’
At a gala in April 2017, Farrow claims he congratulated Megyn on her show and apologized for calling one of her tweets racist.
He said a ‘tendon stood out in her neck’ as she replied: ‘I made a lot of mistakes when I was at your point in my career, too.
Farrow with his mother, Mia, greeting Megyn Kelly at the 2017 Time 100 Gala. He said a ‘tendon stood out in her neck’ as she called him a ‘rookie’
‘You’re kind of a rookie reporter.’
Farrow’s story was still months away from being reported. Kelly had just moved to NBC from Fox.
She went on to congratulate his reporting and commend it on her show, in addition to calling for an independent investigation into why it never ran on NBC.
Mia Farrow was ‘very scared’ for Farrow as he investigated Weinstein as he says his life was ‘upended’ and he was followed by spies
Farrow said his mother Mia Farrow was ‘very, very scared’ for him as he investigated Weinstein
Farrow describes in his book how he was followed by spies and had to ‘run’ away from them in the street at times because of how close he was getting to publishing allegations against Weinstein.
He was previously reported that the movie mogul hired ex-Mossad agents to follow him and ‘hack his phone’.
In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, he said it ‘upended’ his life and forced him to move.
‘I had to literally go on the run from people hired to stake me out.
‘Obviously getting chased around by hired spies is not a normal experience. It’s surreal. It’s stressful.’
He said his mother, Mia Farrow, became scared for him.
‘She was very scared for me as I was on the run from these spies, and I was trying to tell her as little as possible because none of us wants our mom freaking out,’ he said.
Farrow also paid tribute to his partner, Jon Lovett.
‘He didn’t break up with me when I was an insane ball of stress and everything in my life was falling apart and I was needy and demanding all the time,’ he said.
When his contract ended with NBC, Farrow said Lovett – a former Obama speech writer – joked: ‘I’ll take care of you, baby. I’ll keep you in finery and smoothies.’
How celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom ‘played both sides’ and told Farrow, her friend, she was Harvey Weinstein’s ‘people’
The daughter of famed attorney Gloria Allred had befriend Farrow and been talking to him for months before revealing she was working for Weinstein.
Farrow believed that Blook had exposed his reporting at the time, not realizing the situation was actually much worse.
‘Lisa, you swore, as an attorney and a friend, that you wouldn’t tell his people,’ Farrow recalls saying to Bloom.
‘Ronan, I am his people,’ said Bloom.
‘I thought of her calls and texts and voicemails pressing me for information, dangling clients,’ writes Farrow.
‘Bloom told me Weinstein had optioned her book, that she’d been in an awkward position. “Ronan, you need to come in. I can help. I can talk to David [Boies] and Harvey. I can make this easier for you.’
Rose off the bloom: Lisa Bloom worked with Harvey Weinstein (in October 2017 outside his office just five minutes after the Times story was published online) for a year prior to the publication of the two exposes that brought him down in The New York Times and New Yorker
Farrow says that he told her the conversation was not appropriate, and ended his relationship with Bloom.
She tweeted when that story broke, saying: ‘Attorneys must maintain confidentiality even when awful, untrue things are said about us. Welp, I did sign up for this.’
At the time, Bloom had already managed to get New York to kill a piece about Weinstein which had been scheduled to run in late 2016, around the time she first learned about the mogul’s alleged sexual misconduct.
In the email, sent after her first meeting with Weinstein, Bloom outlined a number of tactics for how to take on these stories, including how he could start a foundation in honor of his recently deceased mother and elicit sympathy ahead of publication.
She also said that he should emulate Charlie Sheen in getting out there first with his story, like Sheen did after his HIV diagnosis was set to break in the press.
‘You should be the hero of the story, not the villain. This is very doable,’ said Bloom in the email, which was obtained by Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.
She also detailed an aggressive plan to take down Rose McGowan, calling her a ‘pathological liar’ and dangerous.
The most damning line however was about victims of sex crimes, which at the time constituted almost her entire client list.
‘I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them,’ wrote Bloom.
‘They start out as impressive, bold women, but the more one presses for evidence, the weaknesses and lies are revealed.’