Former “Today” show host Matt Lauer has written an open letter aggressively refuting allegations that he raped a former NBC News colleague during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
As previously reported, Brooke Nevils told Ronan Farrow about the alleged rape in an interview for his upcoming book “Catch and Kill.” Nevils said she had been in Sochi while working with former “Today” host Meredith Viera, who had returned to NBC News for Winter Olympics coverage.
Nevils claimed that she and Viera ran into Lauer at the hotel bar, and that he joined them for drinks. Nevils reportedly consumed several shots of vodka.
Nevils said she later went back to Lauer’s hotel room, where he allegedly forced her to have anal sex, despite her repeated instances that she didn’t want to. She told Farrow that after Lauer began raping her, she cried into a pillow during the ordeal. She admitted to continuing an affair with Lauer after they were back in New York City and said she feared Lauer’s control over her career.
Lauer has denied her claims in an open letter obtained by the New York Post. In it, he says he has remained quiet about the allegations against him in order to protect his family from further media scrutiny, and writes: “But my silence has been a mistake.”
“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.”
During the hotel room encounter, “We engaged in a variety of sexual acts,” Lauer continues.
“We perform oral sex on each other, we had vaginal sex, and we had anal sex. Each act was mutual and completely consensual.”
“…Brooke did not do or say anything to object. She certainly did not cry. She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner. At no time did she behave in a way that made it appear she was incapable of consent. She seemed to know exactly what she wanted to do. The only concern she expressed was that someone might see her leaving my room. She embraced me at the door as she left.”
The letter goes on to claim that Nevils willingly participated in an affair until Lauer abruptly stopped speaking to her, at which point he says she contacted him at home to try and continue the relationship, and was friendly to him when they saw each other at work functions.
Lauer also denies earlier reports that there was a button in his office that locked his office door from the inside.
“There was no such locking mechanism,” Lauer writes. “It didn’t exist. NBC confirmed this fact publicly following my termination.”
Read Lauer’s full open letter here:
[Feature image: AP Photo/Richard Drew]
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