Culture

‘Today’ addresses ‘appalling’ new Matt Lauer report: 'It’s just very painful'

‘Today’ addresses ‘appalling’ new Matt Lauer report: 'It’s just very painful'”

Variety magazine reveals that in an interview with journalist Ronan Farrow for his new book, "Catch and Kill", former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils says Lauer raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

NBC News deserves some credit for covering that part of Variety's report on Farrow's book. When Matt was sacked from the Today Show in 2017 for sexual misconduct, the identity of his accuser, as well as the specifics of her allegations, were not revealed.

Once she was in his hotel room, Nevils alleges, Lauer - who was wearing a T-shirt and boxers - pushed her against the door and kissed her.

In Sochi, Nevils was tasked with working with former "Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira, who'd been brought back to the show to do Olympics coverage. While having drinks at the hotel bar, they saw Lauer, who joined them. And Nevils is saying that Lauer raped her. First to pick up her press credential, which Lauer took as a joke. Later, she returned to the room for a second time because he invited her to come back.

On Wednesday, Kotb said she felt like she was reliving the day she and Guthrie first announced the news of Lauer's termination. She claims that she told "like a million people", including "colleagues and superiors", about what happened, but says that nothing was done until the fall of 2017, after the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

"This is what I blame myself most for, '" she told Farrow. "It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn't want to have anal sex". NBC News said in a statement: "Matt Lauer's conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time". Nevils described these encounters as "completely transactional" and said she was scared at the time over the control Lauer had over her career. Farrow writes, "She told me she stopped saying no, but wept silently into a pillow" and bled for days afterward. She tells him yes. "Sources close to Lauer emphasized that she sometimes initiated contact", Farrow writes.

According to CNN, three years later Nevils confided to Vieira about the incident and she told Nevils to hire an attorney and report the incident.

The book also reportedly said Nevils went to NBCUniversal human resources with a lawyer at Vieira's urging in 2017.

While the company kept her identity a secret, Nevils said colleagues knew it was her and it became impossible for her to work. Though Nevils had not wanted money, she went on medical leave in 2018, and was eventually paid, Farrow writes, "seven figures".

"There's no one I'd rather be sitting next to in 2018 than you", Kotb said.

Nevils says the rape took place when Today temporarily moved to Russian Federation to cover the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The TODAY Show presented this report on this morning's broadcast and co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb took a moment after the segment to reflect on what it all meant to discover their former colleague had done this to another co-worker.



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