Oct 9, 2019

Matt Lauer responds to Ronan Farrow's allegations

Matt Lauer. Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Former co-host of NBC's "Today" show Matt Lauer on Wednesday responded to new allegations of workplace sexual misconduct detailed in Ronan Farrow’s new book “Catch and Kill,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Why it matters: Lauer said his silence amid the accusations "has been a mistake" and that the women who have made claims of misconduct have "shielded themselves from blame behind false allegations." NBC fired Lauer in Nov. 2017.

What they're saying: Specifically, Lauer admitted to an extramarital affair with NBC News employee Brooke Nevils, that took place at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but denied allegations of rape, and said it "was mutual and completely consensual." Nevils, however, said she was too drunk at the time to give consent.

"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. There was absolutely nothing aggressive about that encounter. Brooke did not do or say anything to object. She certainly did not cry. She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner."
— Matt Lauer

Lauer said Nevils and he had multiple sexual encounters after the Olympics. When he ended the illicit relationship, he said Nevils filed a complaint with NBC "in an effort to rekindle the affair."

"I attempted to go back to my life and pretend as if nothing had happened. I understand how that must have made her feel. However, being upset or having second thoughts does not give anyone the right to make false accusations years later about an affair in which they fully and willingly participated."

NBC said in a statement to Farrow: "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."

Go deeper: Ronan Farrow's new book accuses Matt Lauer of raping NBC colleague

Go deeper

Ronan Farrow's new book accuses Matt Lauer of raping NBC colleague

Matt Lauer. Photo: Noam Galai/WireImage

Investigative reporter Ronan Farrow’s new book “Catch and Kill” alleges that former co-host of NBC's "Today" show Matt Lauer raped colleague Brooke Nevils at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to Variety magazine.

Why it matters: NBC News fired Lauer in 2017 following a "detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace" filed by Nevils, but NBC executives emphasized that the incident hadn’t been criminal or an assault.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019

NBC News president sends staff memo addressing Ronan Farrow book

Photo: Mike Pont/Getty Images for Peabody

NBC News President Noah Oppenheim sent a memo to NBC News/MSNBC staffers on Monday morning defending the company against allegations — in Ronan Farrow's new book, "Catch and Kill" — that NBC management engaged in a cover-up to hide sexual misconduct by former "Today" show host Matt Lauer.

"Matt Lauer's actions were abhorrent, and the anger and sadness he caused continue to this day.  As we've said since the moment he was fired, his abuses should never have happened. Ronan Farrow's book takes that undeniable fact and twists it into a lie — alleging we were a 'company with a lot of secrets.' We have no secrets and nothing to hide."
Go deeperArrowOct 14, 2019

What we know: Ronan Farrow's new book "Catch and Kill"

Ronan Farrow. Photo: Angel/AFP/Getty Images

In his yet-to-be released book, investigative reporter Ronan Farrow recounts the difficulties he faced while chasing the Harvey Weinstein story, his fallout with NBC News, and the "untold story of one of the secret heroes of the #MeToo movement."

The big picture: "Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators," is scheduled for release on Oct. 15. The book covers "the rampant abuse of power and sheds far-reaching light on investigations that shook our culture," according to its listing on Amazon.

Go deeperArrowOct 9, 2019