NBC News staffers confronted news chief Noah Oppenheim during a morning editorial staff meeting Thursday, one day after details about the rape accusation made by former employee Brooke Nevils that got “Today” anchor Matt Lauer fired in 2017 were made public. According to reports, staffers pointedly asked Oppenheim about how much he knew about the Nevils’ accusations.
An individual with knowledge of the situation confirmed to TheWrap that Oppenheim asked for questions and answered them for about half an hour.
The New York Post, citing sources familiar with the meeting, described the conversation between staffers and Oppenheim as “disastrous” and “heated,” before noting that a “network source” disagreed and instead described their exchange as “orderly.”
According to The Post and The Daily Beast, staffers wanted to know if Nevils used the word “assault” when she reported the incident to human resources in 2017. At the time of Lauer’s firing, the network described the cause as “inappropriate sexual misconduct.” Oppenheim declined to discuss specifics of Nevils’ report, saying her “confidentiality is not something that I am ever going to breach, not only for her sake. The whole point of that is so she can tell her story whenever, however she chooses to and she is doing so now, I think that is appropriate.”
One Post source said everyone laughed at that response; a network source disputed the reaction to the paper. Representatives for NBC News did not respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment.