A former NBC News employee has accused former “Today” show host Matt Lauer of rape during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The allegations are revealed for the first time in Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book “Catch and Kill,” which details Farrow’s reporting of the Harvey Weinstein sex assault allegations, and includes an interview with Brooke Nevils, whose complaint against Lauer led to the longtime host’s departure from NBC News in 2017.
As Variety notes, Nevils’ identity had previously been withheld from the press, and Farrow’s book, which was obtained by the news outlet, is the first time Nevils has publicly discussed the more serious assault allegation.
Variety reports that Nevils told Farrow she had gone to Sochi to work with Meredith Viera, who had temporarily returned to the “Today” show to cover the Winter Olympics. Nevils said that she and Viera had been at the bar of a hotel where NBC News employees were staying, where they ran into Lauer, who joined them. Nevils reportedly drank several shots of vodka, and Lauer allegedly took her press pass back to his room as a joke. She says she went to his room once to get it, and then returned to his room a second time at his request.
Nevils told Farrow that Lauer was wearing a T-shirt and boxers when she returned, and pushed her against the door and kissed her, before pushing her onto the bed. He allegedly flipped her over on her stomach and asked if she liked anal sex.
“She said that she declined several times,” Farrow wrote, according to the report, and was in the midst of protesting again when Lauer allegedly “just did it,” without using lubricant.
‘It hurt so bad. I remember thinking, Is this normal?’ She told me she stopped saying no, but wept silently into a pillow,” Farrow wrote.
Though Nevils had other sexual encounters with Lauer, she told Farrow the hotel room incident 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.”
Nevils admitted to Farrow that she had sexual encounters with Lauer following the alleged rape. She said she was scared of the control Lauer had over her career.
‘This is what I blame myself most for … It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship,” she reportedly told Farrow.
Nevils also said that she reported the alleged assault to numerous people, including colleagues and a new boss after she moved to another department, but nothing was done until 2017, when the explosive allegations about Harvey Weinstein made international headlines, and she was asked about her interactions with Lauer. Nevils told Farrow that Viera was supportive after Nevils revealed the allegations, and advised her to have a meeting with Human Resources with her lawyer present.
Nevils eventually went on medical leave and accepted a “seven-figure” payout, according to the report.
Lauer has previously denied sexual misconduct allegations. Variety reports that NBC News declined to comment, and that reps for Lauer did not respond to a request for comment.
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[AP Photo/Richard Drew, File]