On Wednesday, Matt Lauer penned a letter denying all rape allegations made against him by Brooke Nevils. She alleged that the former Today show host raped her in a hotel room in 2014.
Nevils said the incident happened in Lauer’s hotel room during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The claim has been outline in Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill. After she came forward with the claim, Lauer was fired from the Today show 2 years ago.
However, Lauer said that the claim is “categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense.” He also said the allegations are “part of a promotional effort to sell a book.” He says his time with Nevils was only an “extramarital affair.”
This is the first time Lauer is speaking about the incident since his firing. He wrote in the letter to Variety, “Despite my desire to set the record straight and confront the individuals making false allegations, I wanted nothing less than to create more headlines my kids would read and a new gathering of photographers at the end of our driveway. So I decided to just stay quiet and work on repairing my relationship with the people I love. It has been the most important full-time job I have ever had.”
Lauer said his kids have now given him permission to speak out after “dangerous” additions are being made to the story. He wrote in the letter that everything they did was completely consensual. He explained, “We performed oral sex on each other, we had vaginal sex, and we had anal sex. Each act was mutual and completely consensual.” He said their affair also continued when they went to New York.
He wrote, “After we returned to New York, we both communicated by text and by phone. We met for drinks, and she met me at my apartment on multiple occasions to continue our affair. Our meetings were arranged mutually. At no time, during or after her multiple visits to my apartment, did she express in words or actions any discomfort with being there, or with our affair.”
Nevils does not deny any of these acts, but called them “completely transactional” due to the difference in status between her and Lauer. In response, Lauer said, “But at no time during our relationship did Brooke work for me, the Today Show, or NBC News. She worked for Meredith Vieira (who had not worked for the Today Show in several years) in a completely different part of the network, and I had no role in reviewing Brooke’s work.”
Nevils also said he had a button in his office which allowed him to lock the door from inside. Lauer wrote, “It would have been impossible to confine anyone in my office, for any purpose, and I have never attempted to make anyone feel as if they were confined in my office. I have never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period.”
He added, “For two years, the women with whom I had extramarital relationships have abandoned shared responsibility, and instead, shielded themselves from blame behind false allegations. And I will no longer provide them the shelter of my silence.”
He also stated that he had ended the affair badly, and was apologetic for the hurt feelings it might have caused. He wrote, “I admit, I ended the affair poorly. I simply stopped communicating with her. Brooke continued to reach out. She admitted to NBC at the time she filed her complaint that she called me late at night while I was home with my family in an effort to rekindle the affair. But 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.”
Read an excerpt from the letter below:
“But Brooke’s story is filled with contradictions. Which Brooke is to be believed?
She claims our first encounter was an assault, yet she actively participated in arranging future meetings and met me at my apartment on multiple occasions to continue the affair.
She says I was the one pursuing the relationship, yet once it was over, she was the one calling me asking to rekindle it.
She says she felt pressure to continue the affair because I had control over her career, but she did not work for me, the Today Show, or NBC News.
She said she wanted to remain anonymous, yet she was reportedly trying to sell a book within year after filing her complaint.
She said she just wanted NBC to “do the right thing,” yet she sought a monetary payment, and two years after I was fired, she is stepping forward to do more damage.”
The full letter can be read on Variety’s site.
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