Matt Lauer on Wednesday vehemently denied a new rape accusation against him, calling the claim by his former NBC colleague “false and salacious.”
In a letter from his lawyer to Variety, which originally reported the accusation, the former host of NBC’s “Today Show” admitted to having an extramarital affair with brooke Nevils, a former colleague at the network but claimed the sexual acts the two engaged in were all consensual.
“It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense,” Lauer wrote in a letter published by Variety. “I had an extramarital affair with [a colleague] in 2014. It began when she came to my hotel room very late one night in Sochi, Russia. We engaged in a variety of sexual acts… each act was mutual and completely consensual.”
“I have never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period,” he added.
In an upcoming book that was excerpted by Variety on Wednesday, Nevils alleges that Lauer raped her anally after she “declined several times” one night in his hotel room during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. She claims she consumed six shots of vodka before the encounter, which she said rendered her incapable of consent, and wept into a pillow during the assault.
Afterwards, she alleges she was bleeding for days. Nevils said that the two had multiple sexual encounters following that night but that they were “completely transactional” due to the power dynamic inherent in their professional relationship.
The allegation appears in the soon-to-be-released book “Catch and Kill,” by journalist Ronan Farrow, whose reporting was one of the major catalysts of the Me Too movement.
Lauer took a thinly-veiled shot at Farrow himself, saying the allegations are “part of a promotional effort to sell a book.”
The former anchor was fired from the “Today Show” two years ago after several women went public with accusations of sexual misconduct.
“For two years, the women with whom I had extramarital relationships have abandoned shared responsibility, and instead, shielded themselves from blame behind false allegations,” Lauer wrote. “And I will no longer provide them the shelter of my silence.”
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