Matt Lauer denied the new rape allegation in a letter from his lawyer to Variety. His former NBC colleagues called the allegation “painful.” USA TODAY
Ronan Farrow made his first TV appearance Friday since excerpts from his upcoming book, “Catch and Kill,” revealed new details surrounding Matt Lauer’s 2017 firing.
Farrow, on “Good Morning America,” told George Stephanopoulos he stands by his book, which is out next week, despite Lauer calling the reporting in “Catch and Kill” false and defamatory. While on the morning show, Farrow also alleged there were previous accusations brought to NBC regarding Lauer’s conduct, prior to the 2017 complaint that led to his ouster.
Farrow said while he can’t reveal specific details about conversations with his sources in the book or if he spoke with Lauer, the former “Today” show co-host’s “way of thinking” is represented in the book and everything printed “extensively fact-checked.”
Stephanopoulos then referenced NBC’s statement about the rape allegation in Farrow’s book. The network stated Lauer was fired within 24 hours of NBC learning about the complaint in 2017 and that any suggestions of NBC trying to cover up for Lauer are “false and offensive.”
Farrow says that he spent years reporting and fact-checking the claims made in his book and that what he found goes against NBC’s statement. He said years before Lauer’s 2017 firing, over a six to seven year period, there were seven non-disclosure agreements at the network, multiple of which involved Lauer.
“What we show in this book, with a paper trail, with documents, was that there were multiple secret settlements and non-disclosures being struck with women at NBC News,” Farrow told the outlet.
Farrow also added that he spoke with NBC senior executives who were made aware of those earlier settlements.
NBC issued a statement to USA TODAY in response to Farrow’s “Good Morning America” interview, reiterating NBC News Chairman Andy Lack’s memo, shared earlier this week, that stated that the first NBC heard about allegations of sexual misconduct against Lauer was on the night of November 27, 2017 and he was fired 24 hours after.
The statement added NBC Universal’s legal team has conducted interviews and did an exhaustive search of available records and found no claims or settlements that suggest inappropriate conduct by Lauer prior to his 2017 firing. The network stated after his termination is when NBC reached an agreement with two women.
On Tuesday, news broke that Farrow’s book includes new details about the allegation that caused Lauer’s firing. Brooke Nevils, the previously unnamed accuser at the center of Lauer’s fall from grace,is identified in the book, and “Catch and Kill” delves into details of Nevils’ allegation that Lauer raped her the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
In a lengthy letter provided by his lawyer to Variety, Lauer denied the allegation and painted the picture of an accusation full of contradictions. He said he has shied away until now from speaking out on the “false and salacious allegations” against him to protect his children.
“I have never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period,” Lauer wrote. “My silence has been a mistake. Old stories are being recycled, titillating details are being added, and a dangerous and defamatory new allegation is being made. All are being spread as part of a promotional effort to sell a book. It’s outrageous. So, after not speaking out to protect my children, it is now with their full support I say ‘enough.'”
Nevils stepped forward with a tweet Wednesday. “I want to thank the many survivors who shared their stories with me today and offered their support. It takes courage, and I am truly grateful,” she wrote.
In a statement to USA TODAY, she said she asked NBC to thoroughly investigate her allegations and to give Lauer “the opportunity to defend himself.” She also said she provided “dates, times, evidence of communications and corroborating accounts” to back up her accusations and “both NBC and Farrow found me credible.”
She continued: “There’s the 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. 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.”
Contributing Hannah Yasharoff
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2019/10/11/ronan-farrow-matt-lauer-had-multiple-accusers-good-morning-america-interview/3942242002/
Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com