Not long after news broke that Ronan Farrow’s yet-unreleased book contains a new accusation of rape against Matt Lauer, his former “Today” colleagues spoke out in support of the former NBC News employee, Brooke Nevils, whose report of then-unspecified sexual misconduct led to Lauer’s firing two years ago.
“I feel like we owe it to our viewers to pause for a moment. This is shocking and appalling and I don’t even know what to say about it,” said “Today” host Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday’s broadcast joined by Hoda Kotb.
“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 a 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.”
Representatives for Lauer did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.
In an excerpt from from Farrow’s upcoming book “Catch and Kill” published late Tuesday in Variety, Nevils said that Lauer anally raped her while the two were in Sochi, Russia, covering the 2014 Winter Olympics. “It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” Nevils said. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
Nevils told Farrow that she and Lauer later had sexual encounters that were consensual. “It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship,” she said, adding that she did not initially report the initial attack to network executives until three years later after she confided in “Today” host Meredith Vieira.
According to Farrow, Nevils received a settlement worth “seven figures” when she left the network last year.