Producer Brooke Nevils has responded to Matt Lauer’s open letter, calling it “a case study in victim shaming.”
Nevils’s response was given to NBC News tonight after Lauer earlier today issued a 1,400-word defense of his alleged conduct, detailed in the Ronan Farrow book, Catch and Kill. Excerpts have been released in advance of the book’s Oct. 15 publication date.
In the book, Nevils – then an NBC producer for Meredith Vieira- accuses Lauer of anal rape when they were both at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
“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 Nevil 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.’
She engaged in an affair with the married Lauer after that, but the relationship ended. In 2017, she reported him during the height of the #MeToo movement, and it was her allegation that led to him being fired. Nevils had remained anonymous before the Farrow book’s publication.
Nevils said that the sex in Sochi was non-consensual. Lauer denied that in his open letter, providing graphic details and other sexual encounters with Nevils, calling her a “willing partner.”
“It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense,” he said. “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.”
evils 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.
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