Matt Lauer’s rape victim spoke to Ronan Farrow for his book ‘Catch & Kill’

Camila Cabello Performs on Today Show

This month is the two-year anniversary of the start of the #MeToo movement, meaning it’s the anniversary of the publication of stories about Harvey Weinstein’s history of rape, harassment, assault and bullying behavior. In the wake of Weinstein’s “outing” as a predator, many more high-profile men were “taken down” by their victims. Men like Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC News/The Today Show in late November 2017. Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill is mostly about Weinstein, but considering Farrow initially investigated the Weinstein story FOR NBC News, of course he has some stuff to say about how NBC News shut him down, all while they were actively covering up for Matt Lauer’s predatory behavior towards female colleagues.

When Lauer was fired, the NY Times and other outlets had some horrific stories, mostly from women who preferred to speak anonymously, like the woman whose Me Too story involved Matt Lauer raping her in his office until she lost consciousness. Lauer’s main accuser – the one who went to NBC News brass and ended up getting a settlement – said that Lauer’s first assault was at the Sochi Olympics. Well, Ronan Farrow spoke to that woman for his book. And her story is absolutely devastating.

Farrow’s most explosive interview in the book is with Brooke Nevils, the former NBC News employee whose complaint about Matt Lauer led to the co-anchor’s firing from the “Today” show in 2017. At the time, NBC News kept Nevils’ identity anonymous from press reports at her request. The full details of her allegations have not been made public until now.

In the book, obtained by Variety, Nevils alleges that at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room. In Sochi, Nevils was tasked with working with former “Today” co-anchor Meredith Vieira, who’d been brought back to the show to do Olympics coverage. In her account, one night over drinks with Vieira at the hotel bar where the NBC News team was staying, they ran into Lauer, who joined them. At the end of the night, Nevils, who’d had six shots of vodka, ended up going to Lauer’s hotel room twice — once to retrieve her press credential, which Lauer had taken as a joke, and the second time because he invited her back. Nevils, Farrow writes, “had no reason to suspect Lauer would be anything but friendly based on prior experience.”

Once she was in his hotel room, Nevils alleges, Lauer — who was wearing a T-shirt and boxers — pushed her against the door and kissed her. He then pushed her onto the bed, “flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex,” Farrow writes. “She said that she declined several times.”

According to Nevils, she “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.” Lauer then asked her if she liked it. She tells him yes. She claims that “she bled for days,” Farrow writes. Nevils tells Farrow: “It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” she says. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”

Back in New York City, Nevils had more sexual encounters with Lauer. “Sources close to Lauer emphasized that she sometimes initiated contact,” Farrow writes. “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. ‘This is what I blame myself most for,’” she says to Farrow. “It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship.”

She was terrified about the control Lauer had over her career. After her encounters with Lauer ended, Nevils said she told “like a million people” about her situation with Lauer. “She told colleagues and superiors at NBC,” Farrow writes. She moved to NBC’s Peacock Productions to be a producer, “and reported it to one of her new bosses there.”

Nothing happened until fall 2017, when the post-Harvey Weinstein reckoning led former “Today” colleagues to ask her about Lauer. Nevils told Farrow she then went to Vieira and told her what had happened. A distraught Vieira, according to the book, urged Nevils to go to NBC Universal human resources with a lawyer, which she did. After Lauer’s firing, she learned that Noah Oppenheim, the president of NBC News, and Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, “were emphasizing that the incident hadn’t been ‘criminal’ or an ‘assault’” — which she claims caused her to throw up, Farrow writes.

[From Variety]

Farrow then reports that while human resources and NBC executives promised her anonymity, the fact that everyone knew that Lauer had assaulted *someone* in Sochi limited the possibilities and after a short time, everyone at NBC knew it was her. She went on medical leave and was eventually paid “seven figures.” I believe Brooke Nevils and dear God, what an ordeal. To be doing your job at the Olympics IN RUSSIA and this happens. She must have been absolutely terrified and traumatized. The only nice thing I’ll say is props to Meredith Vieira for being “distraught” when Nevils told her.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill performing live on the 'Today' show

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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48 Responses to “Matt Lauer’s rape victim spoke to Ronan Farrow for his book ‘Catch & Kill’”

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  1. Yoyo says:

    Matt was always a snug bastard, I bet you he is still hanging out with the same friends in private.
    Look how the mighty has fallen, still it is not enough punishment for what he did, and NBC allowed it to happen, because all they cared about was the bottom line.

    • MC2 says:

      Agreed. But, I just watched Hoda & Savanah’s reaction to this info on the Today Show and luckily they do not appear still snug with him. So happy they kept calling the accuser their colleague, used her name & did not discredit her or her story.
      (PS- remind anyone of the new movie with Steve Carrel… I hope Matt is having a very bad day today)

  2. DaisySharp says:

    So, I’ll never forget the night Lauer hosted the townhall with Hillary and Trump. I think it was a townhall? He questioned each individually on a stage in front of an audience. They were not on the stage together. He allowed trump to tell lie after lie, that even then, everyone knew were lies, they had been reported on. But Matty lapped it up, probably busy dreaming about Melania. Then he was vicious with Hillary, and once again, but her emails. HE did not allow her to talk about anything other than her emails. It was horrific. I tweeted about it that night, before I knew he was a rapist. I remember Joan Walsh tweeted about it and that’s when I knew I wasn’t crazy, and I thanked her.

    Aside from everything else; russia, comey, voter suppression, hillary also faced a sexist hostile male press. Many of the men fell shortly afterwards thanks to the MeToo movement. That’s when we found out the media stars who slimed hillary, were actually men who broke the law to harass, assault, and even rape women in their companies. And people tell me all the time, you have to get over 2016. You have to. You have to move on.

    But I’ll die mad about it. And I will curse their names through eternity.

    • Becks1 says:

      YES I remember that. It was awful. I kept yelling at my TV. the press has a huge part in what happened in 2016.

    • Lala11_7 says:

      DaisySharp….you+me=same tribe

    • The Other Katherine says:

      Yes, Daisy, ALL OF THIS. My god.

    • K-Peace says:

      I love this website so much, for the fact that i get to “be around” like-minded people. I’m still mad as hell about 2016 and it’s very hard living with all the anger & bitterness i feel, which hasn’t worn off one bit. Within a few days of each other, in 2016, i miscarried a baby that i desperately wanted (and i was 40 so i was sure it was my last chance—thankfully i was wrong; i ended up having a beautiful baby boy a week after i turned 42 but that’s beside the point here); my beloved grandmother died (the only person in my family who ever accepted & loved me as i am); and then Trump won/stole the election. It was more than i could take (i don’t even know how i lived through that period) and i sank into a horrible depression that i’m still not through yet. The past 3 years have been a nightmare and it’s very hard just existing with so much anger & bitterness at what’s been going on with our country. I’ve protested, and i volunteer for Democratic candidates/causes, but i wish there was more i could do.

      As for Matt, i always thought he was a creep, but he’s a much bigger monster than i could’ve imagined. He needs to stay hidden. He’s been popping up on his daughter’s social media lately, and i don’t know how he can even show his face.

      • DaisySharp says:

        k-peace I am so sorry you had to go through that, but very happy you came out the other side, and with a beautiful baby to boot! Congratulations.

        I just won’t apologize for my anger and bitterness. People do try and make me feel badly about it. Mostly men, but 1 or 2 women too. I don’t care. Some things are worth our anger and refusal to accept. Why should we accept it?

      • otaku fairy.... says:

        @DaisySharp: You’re so right. Some things are worth our anger & refusal to accept. Part of the problem is that they’ve been accepted for to long.

        @K-peace: I’m sorry you experienced that on top of everything else that was going wrong nationally.

    • Jess says:

      Ditto, Daisysharp. The anger lives on.

    • Christina says:

      @DaisySharp, me too.

    • otaku fairy.... says:

      I will too.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Yes, Lauer did all he could to savage Hillary on that state. It was sickening. After decades of being in the public eye, his very clear distain of her probably did sway some people’s vote. Ugh.

  3. Becks1 says:

    omg, how horrific. That poor woman. He’s such a monster.

    • Carol says:

      In addition to the woman he raped and all the other women he abused, I feel so badly for Matt Lauer’s kids. I can’t even imagine going to school or just living my life having my dad be accused of rape and other horrible things. I’m sure the kids saw some bad behavior at home but still….

  4. sue denim says:

    I always wondered what he had on whoever kept renewing his contract because he seemed like such a jerk, esp to many of the women he worked w. What life must be like to be a mediocre white man…ugh…

    • justwastingtime says:

      I worked for a division of GE Capital through 2004 back when GE owned NBC.

      Let me tell you even back the woman in my division would laugh at the love for Matt Lauer, that the senior level capital guys had. They fawned over him, and wanted to be cool like him and sometimes if they reached a high enough level, he would even golf with them! I thought it (and he) was putrid. We didn’t know he was a rapist. He was just known as a big entitled jerk who senior management worshiped.

  5. Aims says:

    He needs to be in jail. I believe this woman and I’m so sad that this happened to her. Matt used his position and power to rape and intimidate women and I believe she isn’t the only one. It is repulsive and criminal and he needs to be locked up.

  6. hnmmom says:

    My first thought after reading this was huge relief that Meredith Vieira was shocked and encouraged this brave woman to come forward. I am so glad that Meredith is one of the good ones.

    Second thought was last night we were watching I think it was Access Hollywood? Whichever one is on NBC. And they showed a Tiki’s Tok video of Lauer from his daughter and kept saying it was Lauer’s “come back”. Both my husband and I were “NOPE, nope, nope, nope. This guy does not get a second chance”. But I am afraid the seeds are being sown.

  7. Aimee says:

    I’m guessing that dumb video he posted the other day was supposed to deflect from this coming out. Guess what BITCH? You’ll never work in TV again! (I hope!)

    • Sheri T says:

      he’s got tens of millions…he’ll never HAVE to work again….it’s no skin off his back

    • Original Jenns says:

      Yup, that video with his 14 year old daughter. I’m sure he thinks the backlash won’t happen with his minor daughter in the video. Nope. Just makes me think of other daughters who he preyed upon. If I were her mother, he’s have no access to his children simply for the toxic behaviors and mindset he has.

  8. Mego says:

    I deeply regret reading the details of that assault.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      I know. It was disturbing AF.

    • TQB says:

      Yes, but also no, because I’m in awe of her bravery for sharing it. Yes, because, ugh, I get it in ways I can’t verbalize – the continued “transactional” part. I can’t stop shuddering. I don’t know that I could do what she’s doing here: openly discussing trauma, it’s aftermath, and how victim behavior can’t be shoved into a tidy box.

  9. Lisabella says:

    I still don’t understand why he became so popular – even younger, he was Nothing to look at nor was an acceptable interviewer.

  10. ChillyWilly says:

    Jesus. This is horrifying. Andrew Lack should not have a job. If I were Savannah or Hoda I would demand he be fired and if he wasn’t I would quit that bitch. How can any woman work for that creep? Good for Meredith Vieira.

    • Tiffany says:

      It makes me wonder just what Lack has been covering up/knows where the bodies are buried for the more powerful higher ups to keep his job. For anyone else, it would have been a career killer.

      The Lawrence O’Donnell stuff should have been enough to put him on the chopping block.

  11. Christina says:

    And that’s the issue we all face: stay and change the organization or leave and work someplace else. The devil you know vs. the devil you don’t. I’ve left, and I’ve stayed to try to make change. At my age, I’m freakin’ exhausted.

    The women left at NBC and CBS (don’t forget that Charlie Rose was getting assistants “recommended” to him by Epstein) are always left with the other misogynists in their midst to deal with who enabled the Lauers and Roses, and that happens everywhere. Where are the women who want to leave in protest going to go when they are at the top of their game? It’s so messed up…

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    All these men are afflicted by the same self-aggrandizing narcissism as our usurper. The level of self-deception is dizzying.

  13. AnnaKist says:

    Lauer is completely disgusting, and to make matters worse, still smug. I’ve had it up to the eyeballs with these vile creatures hiding and being protected by the veil of silence, because victims are too frightened and ashamed to speak up, knowing they will be scrutinised, condensed, lose their jobs etc. It has to stop. Every time one of these bastards is exposed is a another small victory for all victims, another nudge for another victim to tell her or his story. Lauer and his ilk are filth.

  14. Jessica says:

    Not sure what Lauer’s politics are (not that it matters at all when you’re a rapist) but the similarities between Trump and him are uncanny. Men are not to be interrupted. Women are to be controlled.

    Men who favor Trump know that “Make America Great Again” is code for “let’s go back in time to the days when women and people of color were completely powerless.”

    A lot of women who back Trump have told themselves it’s “let’s get back to the time when cashiers could count change back to you without a calculator.” But, of course, they also completely agree with the men.

    Not sure who is worse honestly.

  15. Jadedone says:

    Ronan Farrow has quickly become my personal hero, expose those pervs!

  16. lucy2 says:

    I hate Lauer and the men like him. Men who abuse, who rape, who feel entitled to whatever they want, who lie and cheat, who cover up for each other, who stomp on everyone to get what they want. I’m just so sick of it. Metoo has been a good start, and it must continue, but my God, I want CONSEQUENCES.

    Lauer belongs in JAIL. If he has any sense in that vile brain of his, he’ll stay out of sight for the rest of his disgusting life.

  17. MC2 says:

    Just read his response that his victims are using this to shield themselves from having to tell someone they cheated….and what a big man he is being by admitting to cheating. Oh, sure, this road was WAY easier for these women & how it affected their life, careers, etc rather then telling an ex-boyfriend you cheated. What the living f^&%. Yea, his story defies common sense, not theirs.

  18. kerwood says:

    Actually, the #MeToo movement was started by an African-American woman named Tarana Burke, to promote empathy and empowerment for women who had been sexually assaulted. As with so many other things, the movement was co-opted by White women and it’s origins have been forgotten/ignored.

    It’s a good thing that sexual predators in the entertainment industry have been brought to account. But several ‘activists’ have used the movement for their own personal gain and it’s very selective with the men it targets.

    James Franco is still working. Casey Affleck not only is still working, he got an Oscar at the height of his scandal. Brie Larson was the only one with the courage and moral outrage to publicly express what she thought about him and for that I will ALWAYS love her.

  19. Mo says:

    The Democrats needs to pass a law severely restricting NDAs. It is clear that they are doing a great deal of harm because people behave horribly and then assume that they will be able to NDA it all away. I know that celebrities use them to protect their privacy, but using them to cover up illegal behavior needs to stop.

    Forcing someone to sign an NDA after an illegal act needs to qualify as obstruction of justice. And companies should have to disclose the nature of NDAs to shareholders.

  20. JoJo says:

    Ann Curry tweeted that she believes Brooke Nevils.

  21. tw says:

    He is a disgusting rapist. Did you see his statement today?? This pig had the balls to say the victim was “enthusiastic and willing”. WTAF.