Former “Today” host Matt Lauer responded to an accusation of rape against with a statement on Wednesday saying that the affair in question was consensual.
In a letter to Variety via his lawyer, Lauer denied that he raped former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils in his hotel room during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, as was detailed in Ronan Farrow’s new book “Catch and Kill.”
“In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault. It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense,” Lauer said.
He continued, “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.”
According to Lauer’s letter, “The story Brooke tells is filled with false details intended only to create the impression this was an abusive encounter. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
A representative for NBC News did not immediately return a request for comment on the letter from TheWrap, nor did a lawyer for Lauer.
“This is shocking and appalling and I don’t even know what to say about it,” host Savannah Guthrie said earlier on Wednesday’s “Today” show broadcast.
“I want to say that we know it wasn’t easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then. It’s not easy now and we support her and any women who have come forward with claims,” Guthrie said. “We are disgusted to our core.”
In an earlier statement to TheWrap, NBC News said, “Matt Lauer’s conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time. That’s why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague.”