A former NBC News employee whose rape allegation against Matt Lauer went public for the first time Wednesday posted a Twitter message later in the day, thanking those who supported her decision to come forward with her story.
Brooke Nevils, 35, who claims Lauer raped her in a hotel room at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, also excoriated Lauer in a letter to NBC News, calling Lauer’s written denial of her allegations “a case study in victim blaming.”
“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,” Nevins wrote, in part, according to NBC News. “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.”
“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.”
Variety was the first to report details from journalist Ronan Farrow’s forthcoming book “Catch and Kill,” which includes the new rape allegation against Lauer, the 61-year-old former “Today” host who was fired in 2017 after being accused of sexual misconduct.
According to the Variety report, Nevils told Farrow that Lauer forced himself upon her and anally raped her but acknowleged that she and Lauer continued a relationship after returning to the U.S.
After a whirlwind day of news coverage, Nevils tweeted Wednesday evening: “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.”
Her Twitter post remained public as of Wednesday evening but her Instagram account was set to private.
After the Variety story broke overnight, Lauer’s former “Today” co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb voiced their support for Nevils on Wednesday morning’s show.
“This is shocking and appalling, and I honestly don’t even know what to say about it,” Guthrie said. “I know it wasn’t easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then. It is not easy now, and we support her and any women who come forward with claims. And it is just very painful. For all of us at NBC who are at the ‘Today’ show, it is very, very difficult.”
Lauer, who left the public spotlight since his dismissal, denied Wednesday that the encounter described in Farrow’s new book was rape. He admitted to having an extramarital affair with Nevils but said their relationship was completely consensual.
In a lengthy letter obtain by Fox News, Lauer said that in the hotel room in Sochi, “Brooke did not do or say anything to object. She certainly did not cry. She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner.” The letter also points out that Nevils told Farrow that she had reached out to Lauer several times after their encounter in Japan and even met him at his New York apartment to continue the affair.
“Brooke did not do or say anything to object. She certainly did not cry. She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner.”
NBC Chairman Andrew Lack said the network hadn’t known of Lauer’s behavior with Nevils until the day before he was fired in November 2017. Lauer said in his letter that he already admitted to the encounter to NBC management but was at not point notified that Nevils categorized it as rape. He also said that his public silence since his firing had been a mistake.
After the alleged rape, Nevils described the relationship as “completely transactional” and told Farrow she feared Lauer’s potential influence over her career. Lauer pushed back, writing that though they worked for the same company, they worked in completely separate departments and he never was in a position to review her work.
He also accused Nevils of stepping forward nearly two years after he was fired in an effort to bolster publicity in order to sell Farrow’s new book. Nevils reportedly received a seven-figure settlement from NBC back in 2017 and her name was kept out of the news until Wednesday.
Fox News’ Brian Flood and Liam Quinn contributed to this report.
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