There were rumors about Matt Lauer for years. Rumors about how he ran the Today Show offices like a rapist’s fiefdom, rumors about his infidelity and his predatory behavior around women. There were rumors that he got women fired when they wouldn’t sleep with him or when they threatened to talk. When Me Too stories began coming out in the fall of 2017, many of us felt like Lauer would be outed. And he was. On November 29th, 2017, he was fired due to Brooke Nevils accusation: she told NBC executives that Lauer had sexually assaulted her at the Sochi Olympics. And he was gone. We didn’t know Nevils’ name at the time, and tons of outlets jumped on the reporting in those weeks. Other victims told their stories to the New York Times, the NY Post and other outlets, and their stories were horrifying.
Still, it was Nevils’ story that got Lauer fired, and it was Nevils who went to Ronan Farrow to give her first-person account of what happened in Sochi and beyond. Ronan Farrow reported her story fairly in Catch and Kill, and Lauer released victim-blaming and misogynistic statements in his defense (about Nevils alone, not the multitude of other victims he left in his wake). Then over the past week, there’s been a weird move in media circles to, like, suggest that Farrow’s reporting sucked? It’s all very vague. Then Lauer wrote a horrendous op-ed on Mediaite about how Farrow sucks and he doesn’t have any credibility, etc. Now People Magazine – an outlet which has always been too friendly to Lauer – had this story:
Matt Lauer’s lengthy op-ed denying the rape allegation against him is part of his “whole mission” to “clear his name,” a source close to the disgraced Today show anchor tells PEOPLE.
“In Matt’s mind, he’s focused on not being labeled a rapist,” the source says. “Matt cares so much about what people think about him — even though he might not want to admit that.”
Last fall, former NBC employee Brooke Nevils alleged in Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators 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 Catch and Kill. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.” She also said in the book that she had more sexual encounters with Lauer back in New York City, telling Farrow: “It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship.”
In a lengthy op-ed for Mediate published on Tuesday, Lauer, 62, said he was “falsely accused of rape” and slammed Farrow’s reporting in his best-selling book, claiming the Pulitzer-winning journalist did not properly fact-check certain allegations.
“He’s on a mission right now to take down Ronan,” the source continues. “He blames Ronan for getting him labeled a rapist. Matt completely believes it was a consensual affair, no different from what many powerful people do, but that he’s had to suffer the consequences like nobody else.”
The source adds of Lauer’s fall from grace: “He was making $30 million a year and was taking helicopters from Long Island into work, four days a week. Now he’s got nothing.”
“Now he’s got nothing…” but his freedom, access to his children, the ocean, a Hamptons mansion and more. Motherf–ker belongs in jail but he’s pissed off that one of his victims spoke on-the-record to Ronan Farrow. What would he do if additional victims came out and gave on-the-record interviews? Anyway, I’m not saying Farrow is a perfect person or a perfect journalist or any of that, but Farrow has so much more credibility than Lauer and that’s not going to change for a very long time.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid, WENN.