Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill is leveling some serious charges against former “Today” anchor Matt Lauer, Variety reports.
The book, which is focused on Farrow’s investigation of Harvey Weinstein, also includes an interview with former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils, whose allegations of sexual misconduct by Lauer led to his ouster from the network in 2017.
Previously, Nevils kept her identity anonymous and the full details of her allegations private, but in the book she alleges that Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
According to Nevil, she was at the Olympics working with “Today” co-anchor Meredith Vieira. One night they were out for drinks when they were joined by Lauer. By the end of the night, Nevils says she had six shots of vodka.
She later went up to Lauer’s hotel room, first to pick up her press credential and then a second time when Lauer invited her back.
Once she was back in the room, Lauer allegedly pushed her against the door and began kissing her before pushing her onto the bed.
Nevils recalls Lauer “flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex. She said that she declined several times.”
Lauer, she said, didn’t use lubricant. The encounter was excruciatingly painful. ‘”It hurt so bad. I remember thinking, Is this normal?’ She told me she stopped saying no, but wept silently into a pillow,” Farrow writes, adding that Nevils said she “she bled for days.”
Nevils tells Farrow in the book, “It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent. It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
Following the alleged rape, Nevils continued having sexual encounters with Lauer.
“What is not in dispute is that Nevils, like several of the women I’d spoken to, had further sexual encounters with the man she said assaulted her,” Farrow writes.
“This is what I blame myself most for,” Nevils says to Farrow. “It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship.”
Nevils says that after she stopped all sexual contact with Lauer, she began telling friends and colleagues, including bosses and other superiors at NBC News.
It was only after the revelations of sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein emerged in late 2017, setting off the #MeToo movement, that Nevils went to Vieira and told her about her experience with Lauer.
Vieira reportedly encouraged Nevils to report her allegations to NBC Universal HR reps, eventually leading to Lauer’s firing.
“Nevils’ work life became torture,” Farrow writes. “She was made to sit in the same meetings as everyone else, discussing the news, and in all of them colleagues loyal to Lauer cast doubt on the claims, and judgment on her.”
Eventually, Nevils’ identity as Lauer’s accuser became known to most within NBC News. She was later paid a sum of “seven figures” and placed on medical leave in 2018.
In a letter to Variety, Lauer denied the allegations against him, claiming that he had an “extramarital affair” with Nevils and that it was “consensual.”
“We performed oral sex on each other, we had vaginal sex, and we had anal sex. Each act was mutual and completely consensual,” he wrote.
He went on to claim, “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.”
In a statement read Wednesday on “Today”, 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.”
Lauer’s former colleagues Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb also reacted to the news on-air.
ET Canada has reached out to a rep for Lauer for comment on the allegations.