Matt Lauer is so smug (“How smug is he?“), he probably thought that he could respond to the rape allegations found in Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book Catch and Kill with a long denial, and then go right back to lip syncing on TikTok. But that’s not how it’s playing out for him. Brooke Nevins, the former NBC News employee who accused Matt of raping her while they were covering the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, wasn’t having any of Matt Lauer’s damage control, and she’s calling him out.
Ronan’s book sheds light on exactly how Matt Lauer was fired from NBC News back in 2017. At the time, there was vague talk about a sexual assault allegation, which in turn gave us many stories of Matt Lauer allegedly sexually harassing employees and cheating on his wife. The initial allegation was from Brooke, who claims she was too drunk to consent when Matt allegedly threw her on his hotel bed. Brooke claims she repeatedly told Matt no, and that Matt raped her. She says she had other sexual encounters with Matt back in New York City, and that some were “transactional” because she feared Matt could kill her career. #MeToo happened, and Meredith Viera encouraged Brooke to go to NBC’s HR department with her story. NBC News says they fired Matt the next day.
Matt’s response to Brooke was, basically, that yes he was rarely faithful to his then-wife Annette Roque, who wants nothing to do with this, and that whatever happened between him and Brooke can be considered a consensual affair, and definitely not rape. He also accused any woman he was with of not taking “responsibility” for their actions.
Save for her story in Ronan’s book, Brooke was largely silent when this news broke. And she really didn’t have to say anything to defend herself, because let’s face it – it’s not hard to choose a side when Matt Lauer is involved. Still, she decided to release a statement of her own, which People magazine says was read on NBC Nightly News last night. In it, Brooke slaps back at Matt’s claim that it was just a casual, consensual fling. She also calls Matt’s long-winded denial nothing but a word-packed piece of victim blaming, and declares she’s not afraid of him anymore.
“As his open letter clearly reveals, there may be more than one Matt Lauer. 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. His open letter was a case study in victim blaming and concluded by threatening any other woman who might dare to speak out against him.
This is the Matt Lauer, then the most powerful asset at NBC News, who I feared when I continued to engage with him, as many victims of acquaintance rape do, particularly in the workplace. This is the Matt Lauer I reported in November 2017. I was not afraid of him then, and 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. The shame in this story belongs to him.”
Brooke also hopped on Twitter to thank everyone for their support.
I want to thank the many survivors who shared their stories with me today and offered their support. It takes courage, and I am truly grateful.
— Brooke Nevils (@BrookeNevils) October 9, 2019
Matt hasn’t responded to Brooke’s response He could be in the middle of making a TikTok response in which he dabs on his haters to “Lies” by Thompson Twins. And Brooke’s statement was good, if not a little redundant in some parts. Like when she said there was one Matt Lauer who hosted the Today show, and another cocky, ego-tripping asshole Matt Lauer who would victim blame. Those aren’t the same people?