TODAY show hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb responded on air to a disturbing new rape allegation against former TODAY anchor Matt Lauer from Brooke Nevils, a former NBC News employee. Lauer was fired in 2017 after multiple complaints about sexually inappropriate conduct.
Nevils alleges that she was anally raped by Lauer in his hotel room at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. The allegations appear in Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill in graphic detail. An excerpt was published by Variety. Nevils said she was working with NBC anchor Meredith Vieira and the three of them had been drinking at the hotel bar. Nevils went to Lauer’s room twice, once to retrieve a press pass which Lauer had taken as a joke, and another time when he invited her back.
Reports Variety: ‘Once she was in his hotel room, Nevils alleges, Lauer — who was wearing a T-shirt and boxers — pushed her against the door and kissed her. He then pushed her onto the bed, “flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex,” Farrow writes. “She said that she declined several times.” According to Nevils, she “was in the midst of telling him she wasn’t interested again when he ‘just did it,’” Farrow writes. “Lauer, she said, didn’t use lubricant. The encounter was excruciatingly painful. ‘It hurt so bad. I remember thinking, Is this normal?’ She told me she stopped saying no, but wept silently into a pillow.” Lauer then asked her if she liked it. She tells him yes. She claims that “she bled for days,” Farrow writes.’
Said a clearly shaken Guthrie on TODAY: “I feel like we owe it to our viewers to pause for a moment. This is shocking and appalling, and I honestly don’t even know what to say about it. I want to say that 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 come forward with claims. It’s just very painful for all of us at NBC and at the Today show, and it’s very, very difficult.”