Overnight, Today hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb reacted to new allegations of rape on air during the first hour of the show. "I feel like we owe it to our viewers to pause for a moment," Guthrie said. "You know, this is shocking and appalling, and I honestly don't even know what to say about it. I want to say that we—I know it wasn't easy for our colleague Brooke [Nevils] to come forward then. It's not easy now. And we support her and any women who come forward with claims. It's just very painful for all of us at NBC and who are at the Today show. It's very, very, very difficult."
In 2017, American TV network NBC fired prominent broadcaster and Today host Matt Lauer in the wake of “inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace.” At the time, no further details were made public, however, in New York Times journalist Ronan Farrow's new book, former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils reportedly comes forward to reveal her identity and gives the full details of her allegation.
According to Variety, who obtained a copy of Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators prior to its October 15th release, Farrow interviews Nevils, whose complaint about Lauer led to his firing in November 2017.
In Nevils’ account, according to Variety, Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room after a night out while they were in Russia for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Lauer has since denied the allegations in a lengthy statement, saying, "Each act was mutual and completely consensual" and that Nevils' account is "filled with false details intended only to create the impression this was an abusive encounter. Nothing could be further from the truth. There was absolutely nothing aggressive about that encounter."
In the new book, Nevils reportedly recounts being with former Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira one evening when the pair ran into Lauer at the hotel bar one night. Nevils, who’d says she had had six shots of vodka, ended up going to Lauer’s hotel room after he invited her back. According to Variety, Nevils alleges Lauer kissed her, then pushed her onto the bed and asked if she liked anal sex. Farrow writes that Nevils said she “declined several times,” Variety reports, but he allegedly “just did it” and didn’t use lubricant. Nevils reportedly claims the encounter was painful and that she “bled for days.”
“It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” she reportedly tells Farrow in the book. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”