In a new upcoming book by journalist Ronan Farrow, Catch and Kill, former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils reveals that disgraced Today show co-host Matt Lauer anally raped her in a hotel room during the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, while NBC was covering the games. On Wednesday, all three network morning shows, including Today, covered the shocking allegations.
Nevils told Farrow that both her and Lauer had been drinking, but that she refused the anchor’s sexual advances several times before he pushed her onto the bed and forced himself on her. Nevils described the traumatic experience as “excruciatingly painful.” The allegations go well beyond initial suggestions that Lauer was guilty of sexual harassment or womanizing but not anything “criminal.”
According to Variety, which obtained an advance copy of Farrow’s book, Nevils “was terrified about the control Lauer had over her career.” However, according to Farrow, she later “told colleagues and superiors at NBC,” though it wasn’t until the fall 2017, in the wake of allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, that any action was taken.
The specific catalyst for Lauer’s eventual firing came when Nevils told Lauer’s former Today show co-host Meredith Vieira about what had happened. “A distraught Vieira, according to the book, urged Nevils to go to NBC Universal human resources with a lawyer, which she did,” Variety reported.
After Lauer’s firing, Nevils revealed to Farrow that claims by top NBC executives Noah Oppenheim and Andrew Lack “that the incident hadn’t been ‘criminal’ or an ‘assault,’” had “caused her to throw up.”
All these details come following a laughable 2018 investigation in which NBC cleared itself of any wrongdoing in its handling of the Lauer accusations and claimed there was no evidence of “any NBC News or Today show leadership, News HR or others in positions of authority in the News Division received any complaints about [Matt] Lauer’s workplace behavior prior to November 27, 2017.”
Of course that would seem to contradict Nevils’ account that “she told ‘like a million people’ about her situation with Lauer.”