Accuser Brooke Nevils calls Matt Lauers letter ‘a case study in victim blaming’
Matt Lauer denied the new rape allegation in a letter from his lawyer to Variety. His former NBC colleagues called the allegation “painful.”
Brooke Nevils, the previously unnamed former NBC News employee whose 2017 complaint led to Matt Lauer getting fired from his job on the “Today” show nearly two years ago, is standing her ground after coming forward with a new rape allegation, calling Lauer’s response a “case study in victim blaming.”
Variety reported late Tuesday that Ronan Farrow’s Oct. 15 book “Catch and Kill” reveals a new allegation from Nevils. Variety reports that the book includes a claim he raped her at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
In a lengthy letter provided by his lawyer to Variety, Lauer denied the allegations and painted the picture of an accusation full of contradictions. He said he has shied away until now from speaking out on the “false and salacious allegations” against him to protect his children.
“I have never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period,” Lauer wrote. “My silence has been a mistake. Old stories are being recycled, titillating details are being added, and a dangerous and defamatory new allegation is being made. 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.'”
Nevils broke her silence with a tweet Wednesday thanking supporters and survivors who shared their own stories with her. She later gave a statement to NBC News.
“There’s the Matt Lauer that millions of Americans watched on TV every morning for two decades, and there is the Matt Lauer who this morning attempted to bully a former colleague into silence,” she said in a statement to NBC News. “His open letter was a case study in victim blaming… I am not afraid of him now, regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would (and now has) tried to use against me.”
USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Lauer and Nevils for further comment.
“I feel like we owe it to our viewers to pause for a moment,” Guthrie said, noticeably emotional. “This is shocking and appalling. I honestly don’t even know what to say about it. I want to say I know it wasn’t easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then, it’s not easy now and we support her and any women who have come forward with claims. And it’s just very painful for all of us at NBC and who are at the ‘Today’ show. It’s very, very, very difficult.”
Former “Today” journalist Ann Curry tweeted her support of Nevils Wednesday afternoon, saying she is “is a credible young woman of good character. She came to NBC News an eager and guileless 20-something, brimming with talent. I believe she is telling the truth. And that breaks my heart.”