After reports surfaced that Ronan Farrow's new book Catch and Kill is shedding new light on the sexual assault allegations that led to former Today host Matt Lauer’s November 2017 firing, NBC News, in a statement read on the Today show Wednesday, called the allegations “horrific.” In the book, set for an Oct. 15 release, an interview with a former NBC News employee detailing an alleged rape at the 2014 Sochi Olympics is published.
“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,” the statement reads, according to USA Today.
“Our highest priority is to ensure we have a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected,” NBC News chairman Andy Lack added. “We are absolutely committed to making this a reality – there can be no exception."
Recounting much of his investigation into Harvey Weinstein, Farrow’s Catch and Kill also includes an interview with then-NBC News staffer Brooke Nevils, whose anonymous complaint, Farrow claims, led to the former Today show anchor's firing in 2017.
In the book, Nevils alleges that, after a night of drinks with Lauer and Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira, she was anally raped by Lauer. Nevils, who'd had six shots of vodka, claims that she twice went to Lauer’s hotel room, once to retrieve a media pass he had playfully taken and again after the anchor invited her. Farrow writes that Nevils “had no reason to suspect Lauer would be anything but friendly based on prior experience.”
When Nevils came to the room, however, she was greeted by a Lauer clad in nothing more than a T-shirt and boxers. He allegedly pushed her against the door and kissed her before pushing her onto the bed, “flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex," Farrow writes. "She said that she declined several times."
Nevils was "in the midst of telling him she wasn't interested again when he 'just did it,'" Farrow writes. "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."0comments
“It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent," Nevils told Farrow. "It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn't want to have anal sex."
While Lauer, a two-decade veteran of Today, has not yet addressed the new details brought to light in Farrow’s book, when Nevil’s anonymous allegation first surfaced in 2017, he claimed that some of the stories about him were “untrue.”