Matt Lauer is claiming that he was "falsely accused of rape" while slamming former fellow NBC News reporter Ronan Farrow's reporting of the accusations against Lauer in his best-selling book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators. In an op-ed for Mediaite published Tuesday, Lauer acknowledged "having a consensual, yet inappropriate relationship with a fellow employee in the workplace," but denied former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils' allegation, in Catch and Kill, that he raped her.
"I say these words with sincerity and humility," Lauer wrote. "I am sorry for the way I conducted myself. I made some terrible decisions, and I betrayed the trust of many people." But he said Nevils' accusation "was one of the worst and most consequential things to ever happen in my life," calling it "devastating for my family," and argued that "outrageously it was used to sell books."
In Catch and Kill, Nevils alleged that Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. "It was non-consensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent," she told Farrow in the book. "It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn't want to have anal sex." She also told Farrow that she had more sexual encounters with Lauer back in New York City, saying, "It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship."
Lauer was fired from NBC in November 2017 due to a complaint of "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace." Nevils' identity was kept anonymous at the time, and Farrow's book, released in October 2019, was the first time the full details of her allegation were made public. It is not the first time Lauer has denied the allegation; in October, he called it "categorically false."
Lauer continued to rail against Farrow's reporting and fact checking in his op-ed this week. "At no time did Brooke Nevils ever use the words 'assault' or 'rape' in regards to any accusation against me while filing her complaint with NBC in November of 2017. That has been confirmed publicly. NBC never suggested I was being accused of such an offense when I met with their attorney on Nov. 28 of that same year. They have also confirmed that publicly," he said.
He wrote that he was "shaken, but not surprised," by how "few in the media were willing to thoroughly challenge the accusations against me, or the person making them." He called the "rush to judgment" swift and lamented how some journalists "were already calling my accuser 'brave' and 'courageous'" before he issued his own statement. "I was also disappointed, but not surprised, that Ronan Farrow's overall reporting faced so little scrutiny," Lauer continued.
In response to Lauer's scathing op-ed, Farrow tweeted: "All I'll say on this is that Matt Lauer is just wrong. Catch and Kill was thoroughly reported and fact-checked, including with Matt Lauer himself." Nevils also spoke out on Twitter, writing, "DARVO: Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender."