NOTE: This article contains disturbing and sexually explicit language. Please read at your own discretion.
According to Variety, which obtained an advanced copy of Catch and Kill, the journalist interviewed Brooke Nevils, the former NBC News employee whose complaint led to Lauer’s firing from the Today show in 2017.
In 2017, NBC News kept Nevil’s identity anonymous, but Catch and Kill, which comes out on Oct. 15, reportedly reveals the full details of her allegations.
In the book, Nevils alleges Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room, according to Variety.
In her account, Nevils said she was tasked with working with former Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira, who was brought back to the team to co-host the Olympics coverage.
Nevil claims she ran into Lauer one night while she was out with Vieira having drinks at the hotel bar.
She says that by the end of the evening, she had drunk six vodka shots and ended up going to Lauer’s hotel room twice: once to retrieve her press credentials and the second time because he invited her back.
Farrow reportedly writes that Nevils “had no reason to suspect Lauer would be anything but friendly based on prior experience.”
Nevils alleges Lauer pushed her against the door and kissed her before forcing her onto the bed. She also alleges that Lauer then flipped “her over, asking if she liked anal sex,” the book says.
She reportedly “said that she declined several times.”
Nevils “was in the midst of telling him she wasn’t interested again when he ‘just did it,'” according to the book, which alleges the encounter was not consensual.
“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. Lauer then asked her if she liked it. She tells him yes. She claims that ‘she bled for days,’” Farrow writes, according to Variety.
“It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” Nevils told Farrow, according to the outlet. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
Nevils reportedly told Farrow that she had other sexual encounters with Lauer after the first.
She went on to say that she blames herself for those encounters and was scared of the control Lauer had over her career.
Nevils reportedly said she told “like a million people” about her situation with Lauer after their encounters ended.
“She told colleagues and superiors at NBC,” according to the book. She moved to NBC’s Peacock Productions to be a producer “and reported it to one of her new bosses there.”
Nevils told Farrow that she went to Vieira in fall 2017 to tell her what had happened at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
According to the book, a distraught Vieira told Nevils to go to NBC Universal’s human resources with a lawyer, and she did.
After Lauer was fired, Nevils learned that others at NBC “were emphasizing that the incident hadn’t been ‘criminal’ or an ‘assault’” — which she claims caused her to throw up, according to Farrow’s book.
Nevils had been promised anonymity by human resources, but after Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, reportedly said internally that the encounter had happened in Sochi, many people knew it was Nevils, according to book.
She went on medical leave in 2018 and was eventually paid “seven figures,” the book says.
Lauer’s lawyer, Libby Locke of law firm Clare Locke, provided Variety with a letter denying any wrongdoing.
“I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014,” Lauer said. “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.”
“In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having was, in fact, an assault,” Lauer wrote. “It is categorically false, ignores the facts and defies common sense.”
Lauer denied that Nevils was unable to consent.
“Brooke did not do or say anything to object,” Lauer said. “At no time did she behave in a way that made it appear she was incapable of consent.”
He also said that after the first encounter, they began a lengthy relationship.
“This encounter, which she now falsely claims was an assault, was the beginning of our affair,” Lauer said. “It was the first of many sexual encounters between us over the next several months … Our meetings were arranged mutually. At no time, during or after her multiple visits to my apartment, did she express in words or actions any discomfort with being there or with our affair.”
In April 2018, Lack said in a memo to staff that the company’s “highest priority” was to “ensure we have a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected.”
“We are absolutely committed to making this a reality — there can be no exception,” he added.
NBC News said in a statement to Variety: “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.”
“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,” Guthrie said.
The host added that she “knows it wasn’t easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then, and I know it’s not easy now.”
“It’s very painful for all of us at NBC and who are at the Today show,” Guthrie continued. “It’s very, very, very difficult.”
“We don’t know all the facts of this, but there are not allegations of an affair. There are allegations of a crime,” Kotb said. “And I think that’s shocking to all of us here who have sat with Matt for many, many years.”
“I think I speak for all of us: we are disturbed to our core,” Guthrie said.
NBC News says it has not seen a copy of the book and declined to comment.
Global News has reached out to Lauer’s rep for comment.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.
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