After staying off the radar for nearly two years, Matt Lauer has come out swinging against a new allegation of rape made by former NBC employee Brooke Nevils in an upcoming book by reporter Ronan Farrow.
In an open letter Wednesday, the former “Today” show host spoke vociferously in his own defense, calling Nevils’ allegations of sexual assault “categorically false” and his own decision to stay silent “a mistake.”
“I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014,” wrote Lauer, who was fired in November 2017. “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 had already admitted having an affair with an unnamed woman in an apology issued immediately after he was fired. At that time, he said that some of what was being said about him was untrue or mischaracterized.
According to a Variety report, in “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators,” Nevils told Farrow that Lauer forced her to have anal sex that she didn’t want on a night she said she was too drunk to give consent.
“The story Brooke tells is filled with false details intended only to create the impression that this was an abusive encounter,” Lauer wrote in the open letter Wednesday. “Nothing could be further from the truth.” Nevils, he said, was “a fully enthusiastic and willing partner” that night and “seemed to know exactly what she wanted to do.”
“The only concern she expressed,” he added, “was that someone might see her leaving my room.”
Lauer detailed a months-long affair that he said progressed from that night in Sochi and included multiple sexual encounters and mutually arranged meetings. He also admitted to having sex with Nevils in his dressing room at the “Today” show.
However, Lauer wrote, Nevils never worked for him or for the “Today” show — rather, she was an assistant to Meredith Vieira, who at that point had moved on from the morning show.
“I admit, I ended the affair poorly,” Lauer wrote. Then he accused Nevils of changing her story and being motivated by money, including a point-by-point list of her alleged “contradictions.”
Ann Curry, a former “Today” anchor who has clashed with Lauer, spoke up in Nevils’ defense on Twitter.
“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,” Curry wrote.
“Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a very private person,” Lauer wrote. “I had no desire to write this, but I also had no choice. The details I have written about here open deep wounds for my family. But they also lead to the truth.”
As for the women he had extramarital affairs with, whom he claims have made some false allegations, he wrote, “I will no longer provide them the shelter of my silence.”