Matt Lauer was fired from the TODAY show in 2017 after a complaint was made to NBC about the former anchor. However, it wasn’t until this week that the details of that complaint became public, when Brooke Nevils, who filed it, revealed that she’d been raped by Lauer while they were working together at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
While Nevils’ colleagues and colleagues, not to mention perfect strangers, have come out in support of her, Lauer is far from contrite for his actions.
He doesn’t deny that the pair had sex, but instead blames Nevils herself for what happened five years ago and claims that she wanted it, despite Nevils’ insistence that it was nonconsensual.
Nevils detailed her traumatic experience with Lauer in Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill, an excerpt of which was published by Variety.
“According to Nevils, she “was in the midst of telling him she wasn’t interested again when he ‘just did it,’” Farrow writes. “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.
Nevils tells Farrow: “It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” she says. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
Lauer’s response, also published by Variety, shows a callous and downright cruel man attempting to flip the script on his victim by blaming her for her own assault. In other words, it wasn’t rape because she liked it, at least in his twisted mind.
“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. Each act was mutual and completely consensual,” Lauer said in the statement.
Just to BRIEFLY switch course from VardaGate, Matt Lauer, you piece of shit. https://t.co/ilwsNG22Rk
— N is for Nicole, Who Fell Off a Cliffe (@Nicole_Cliffe) October 9, 2019
He went on to say that Nevils filled her account of the evening in question with “false details intended to only create the impression this was an abusive encounter” when in reality, there was “nothing aggressive” about what happened between them.
Matt Lauer: “I have never been anything but respectful to those lying sluts” pic.twitter.com/YOTSvFje7n— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) October 9, 2019
“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.”
It’s true that NBC eventually ousted Matt Lauer. But it also fired @AnnCurry, an outstanding journalist who had tried to stand up for women at NBC. If NBC had then fired Lauer and kept Curry, it would have been infinitely better off in every way. https://t.co/2PMpvCPTcC
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) October 9, 2019
Lauer also said that the night in question was the first of many sexual encounters they would have over the coming months and that because Nevils never brought up how she felt about the night he forced himself on her, that clearly meant she was OK with it.
Additionally, Lauer refuted Nevils’ claim that Lauer being in a position of power over her, he being much further up the ladder than her at the time, played a huge role in how she handled the abuse.
“Brooke now says that she was terrified about the control I had over her career and felt pressure to agree to our encounters after Sochi. But at no time during our relationship did Brooke work for me, the Today Show, or NBC News. She worked for Meredith Vieira (who had not worked for the Today Show in several years) in a completely different part of the network, and I had no role in reviewing Brooke’s work,” Lauer said.
Matt Lauer: “I have never been anything but respectful to those lying sluts” pic.twitter.com/YOTSvFje7n
— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) October 9, 2019
In classic narcissistic manipulator fashion, Lauer then shot his final scumbag shot by claiming that the only reason Nevils has come forward with these accusations is because he dumped her and her feelings were hurt.
“I admit, I ended the affair poorly. I simply stopped communicating with her. Brooke continued to reach out. She admitted to NBC at the time she filed her complaint that she called me late at night while I was home with my family in an effort to rekindle the affair. But I attempted to go back to my life and pretend as if nothing had happened. I understand how that must have made her feel. However, being upset or having second thoughts does not give anyone the right to make false accusations years later about an affair in which they fully and willingly participated.”
Brooke Nevils is a credible young woman of good character. She came to NBC News an eager and guileless 20-something, brimming with talent.
I believe she is telling the truth. And that breaks my heart. https://t.co/k4LT3MEh5Q
— Ann Curry (@AnnCurry) October 9, 2019
Lauer’s full statement can be read at Variety.