Excerpts from Ronan Farrow’s book Catch and Kill began making the rounds earlier this week, and that’s why we’ve been talking about Matt Lauer all week. Farrow interviewed Brooke Nevils, the woman who came forward to NBC brass about Lauer raping her in Sochi, Russia, which is how Lauer ended up being fired in late November 2017. Brooke detailed the rape to Farrow, and when that part of the book came out, Lauer released a long-winded asinine statement in which he was drowning in self-pity and trying to position himself as some kind of victim because he just innocently preyed on multiple 20-something women who all worked at NBC. Speaking of, another woman came forward in 2017 saying that back in 2000, she had what she thought was a consensual affair with Lauer, but really it was a screwed up power dynamic because of her age and his power at NBC. Her name is Addie Collins Zinone and she released her own lengthy statement about how Matt Lauer is f–king trash. Here’s part of it:
“I was deeply shocked and saddened by Matt Lauer’s letter yesterday in response to Brooke’s allegations of sexual assault,” Zinone shared in her statement. “The seeming lack of contrition, misstatements, and threatening tone is an attempt to manipulate and control the narrative for his own gain. He is determined to undermine and tarnish the reputation of the brave women who courageously come forward. This is precisely why so many don’t.”
“…Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a very private person. I had no desire to come out of the shadows from the pain his abuse of power inflicted on me in NBC’s newsroom. I never had, nor do I have, anything to gain in telling my truth. In fact, I have everything to lose, but when I realized I was not alone, I was willing to lift the veil on that time to validate the accusations of others. I felt it was the right thing to do.”
…Here are the facts: I was a single 24-year-old intern-turned-production assistant; he was a married 42-year-old man, the most powerful and successful man at NBC, arguably in all of journalism. The trajectory of my life and career changed drastically as a result of this experience. I have never given false allegations when it comes to this story. To suggest I haven’t been honest is a deflection, meant to ruin my credibility and reputation. I did look my (now) husband in the eyes and tell him about my participation in what happened all those years ago, and they have been horrible, guilt-ridden conversations. My children had to find out about it when they Googled my name and found words like “slut” and “whore” instead of the philanthropy and military service I proudly pursued in 2002 in addition to my journalism career. Mr. Lauer’s attempts to slut-shame and rewrite history will not work. It is troubling he has no understanding of, or empathy for, the pain he has inflicted with his brazen and predatory abuse of power on young, vulnerable women who had no voice. But now we do. I have always admitted my part in this – I deeply wish I had been stronger – but he knows it should not have happened. It was wrong – full stop. It cost him his career; his reputation. He will live with that forever. To be sure, so will we.
“It is troubling he has no understanding of, or empathy for, the pain he has inflicted with his brazen and predatory abuse of power on young, vulnerable women who had no voice.” This. A million times this. Even if you put aside the rape of Brooke Nevils, the fact remains that for DECADES Matt Lauer abused his power at NBC. He treated his workplace like a hunting ground for young, powerless women to “seduce” by any means necessary. You can read Zinone’s full statement here.
Also: Brooke Nevils credited Meredith Vieira with helping her come forward to NBC executives. People reports that Meredith and Lauer “never spoke again since his firing.”
Photos courtesy of WENN.