Ann Curry allegedly can remember clear as day the look on Melissa Lonner’s face when the latter opened up about her encounters with Matt Lauer.
Lauer allegedly propositioned and exposed himself to Lonner, a former NBC entertainment booker, in 2010, per Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill. According to the book, Lonner subsequently opened up to Curry about the horrific encounter.
“She told me that complaints about Lauer verbally harassing women in the office were well known in her day — and that once, in 2010, a colleague had pulled her into an empty office and broken down, saying Lauer had exposed himself and propositioned her,” Farrow writes per PageSix.
“It was as close as you could get to a woman just melting in front of you in pain,” Curry allegedly told Farrow. Lonner was reportedly invited to join Lauer in his office following a cocktail party.
Lonner believed it was a professional meeting before Lauer “unzipped his pants and exposed his erect penis.” After rejecting his advances, Lauer allegedly told Lonner, “Melissa, you’re a f**king tease. This is not good. You led me on.”
Lonner insisted she did not want executives at NBC to connect her name with any allegations against Lauer. Curry reputedly approached two senior executives and warned them about Lauer.
“I told them that they had a problem in him,” Curry said in the book. “That he had a problem with women. That they had to keep an eye on him.”
In 2013, Lonner was fired without cause. She reportedly contacted a lawyer who said she would be unable to make a harassment claim due to the statute of limitations. She later was offered a six-figure sum by NBC in exchange for signing a “release of rights.”
Former “Today” co-host Megyn Kelly praised Curry, along with Meredith Vieira for “sounding the alarm” on Lauer. “All I’m going to say is that I feel very strongly about the #MeToo coverage, the importance of doing it without fear or favour,” Kelly told Us Weekly.
Curry stood by her statements to Farrow when speaking with the Washington Post last week, confirming once again that she warned two NBC execs about Lauer.
Lauer has denied the allegations against him, only recalling making a joking lewd gesture.
His attorney, Elizabeth M. Locke, has since denied the above claims in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
She said, “Matt never exposed himself to anyone. This ridiculous story has been shopped around for years. Many allegations that are being circulated were never raised during any fact-checking process.
“And despite repeated requests for an advance copy of this book, we have not been provided one, while many media outlets have. Matt will have more to say at an appropriate time but he will not take part in the marketing circus for this book.”