After Matt Lauer vehemently denied Brooke Nevils’ accusation that her raped her in 2014, she fired back with a statement that slams him for ‘victim blaming.’
In Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill, Brooke Nevils details allegedly being raped by Matt Lauer while they were in Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Olympics. After excerpts from the book, which will be released in full on Oct. 15, were revealed on Oct. 9, Matt issued a lengthy response, in which he shut down Brooke’s claims and insisted that their relationship was ‘consensual.’ Now, Brooke has released a statement in response to Matt’s denial. “There’s the Matt Lauer that millions of Americans watched on TV every morning, and there is the Matt Lauer who this morning attempted to bully a former colleague into silence,” Brooke said on NBC Nightly News. “His open letter was a case study in victim blaming. I am not afraid of him now. Regardless of his threats, bullying and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would (and now has) tried to use against me.”
In Brooke’s account of what happened between her and Matt, she claimed that the former Today Show host raped her anally in his Sochi hotel room (she was in Russia working with Meredith Vieira, who was reporting for NBC at the time). She admitted to going to Matt’s room on her own accord when he invited her there because she “had no reason to suspect [he] would be anything but friendly based on prior experience.” Brooke said the experience was “nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent” and “nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex,” according to the Catch and Kill excerpt, published by Variety. Brooke also admitted to having subsequent sexual encounters with Matt when they returned home to New York City, and said it was because she feared the pull he had on her career as a superior at NBC. “This is what I blame myself most for,” Brooke said. “It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship.”
Matt’s response to the claims was published in the form of an open letter, which was issued by his lawyer. He said that Brooke’s story was “full of false details” and addressed all of her allegations one by one. “She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner,” Matt wrote, regarding the pair’s first sexual encounter. “At no time did she behave in a way that made it appear she was incapable of consent.” He also said that their subsequent meetings in New York City were all “arranged mutually,” and claimed that Brooke had no valid reason to fear that Matt could have a pull on her career. “At no point during our relationship did Brooke work for me, the Today Show or NBC News,” he said. “She worked for Meredith Vieira in a completely different part of the network and I had no role in reviewing Brooke’s work.”
After ending the affair, Matt said he saw Brooke at various company events, during which they engaged in friendly conversation. “It was not until I was called into speak to an NBC attorney on Nov. 28, 2017 that I first learned Brooke had any complaint,” he claimed. After his meeting with NBC, he was terminated from the Today Show.
Brooke left her job at NBC on a medical leave in 2018 and eventually received a “seven figure” pay out from NBC, according to Catch and Kill. “I want to thank the many survivors who shared their stories with me today and offered their support,” Brooke tweeted on Oct. 9. “It takes courage, and I am truly grateful.”