Matt Lauer is denying his former NBC News co-worker Brooke Nevils' allegations that he raped her during the 2014 Sochi Olympics in his hotel room. In a statement released by the former Today anchor, who was fired after Nevils' anonymous allegation surfaced in 2017, Lauer calls the encounter an "extramarital affair," adding that the rape allegation is "categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense."
"Over the past two years people have asked why I have not spoken out to defend myself more vigorously against some of the false and salacious allegations leveled at me. It is a fair question and the answer is deeply personal," Lauer says in a letter provided 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. But my silence has been a mistake."
"Today, nearly two years after I was fired by NBC, old stories are being recycled, titillating details are being added, and a dangerous and defamatory new allegation is being made," Lauer's letter continues. "All are being spread as part of a promotional effort to sell a book. It's outrageous. So, after not speaking out to protect my children, it is now with their full support I say 'enough.'"
Lauer went on to directly address the allegations made against him in Ronan Farrow's new book Catch and Kill, stating that Nevils' story, in which she claimed he anally raped her, was not an assault, but rather the beginning of their "extramarital affair."
"I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014. It began when she came to my hotel room very late one night in Sochi, Russia. We engaged in a variety of sexual acts," he writes. "We performed oral sex on each other, we had vaginal sex, and we had anal sex. Each act was mutual and completely consensual."
Lauer goes on to claim that Nevils' story is "filled with false details intended only to create the impression this was an abusive encounter," contradicting Nevils' claims that she repeatedly declined his advances.
"Brooke did not do or say anything to object. She certainly did not cry. She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner," he claims. "At no time did she behave in a way that made it appear she was incapable of consent. She seemed to know exactly what she wanted to do."
According to Lauer, that encounter in Sochi was "the first of many sexual encounters," as they continued to communicate "by text and by phone" and "met for drinks" after they returned to New York. Later also claims that during their affair, Nevils "went out of her way" to see him in his dressing room."
While he acknowledges that the affair "showed terrible judgement" on his part, he adds that "it was completely mutual and consensual" and that Nevils "fully and willingly participated."
Lauer, who claims that he and Nevils remained friendly even after their affair ended, says that Nevils is only "making outrageous and false accusations to help sell a different book" and that she is "stepping into the spotlight to cause as much damage as she can."
"I had no desire to write this, but I had no choice. The details I have written about here open deep wounds for my family. But they also lead to the truth," Later concludes. "For two years, the women with whom I had extramarital relationships have abandoned shared responsibility, and instead, shielded themselves from blame behind false allegations. They have avoided having to look a boyfriend, husband, or a child in the eye and say, 'I cheated.' They have done enormous damage in the process. And I will no longer provide them the shelter of my silence."