'TODAY' Anchors React to Matt Lauer Rape Allegations

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Matt Lauer and his former colleagues at NBC's Today show have addressed the rape allegations made against Lauer by a former NBC employee as part of Ronan Farrow's new book, Catch and Kill.

The explosive allegation comes from Brooke Nevils, a former NBC News staffer, who told her story to Farrow and who was responsible for Lauer's abrupt firing from the Today Show in November of 2017. Variety reports it obtained an advanced copy of "Catch and Kill", scheduled to hit bookstores next week, identifying a woman accusing Lauer of anally raping her in a Russian Federation hotel room. In his letter, Lauer refuted Nevils' accusation and called her "a fully enthusiastic and willing partner".

In a three-page open letter released Wednesday, Lauer denounced the account, which he called "a risky and defamatory new allegation.as part of a promotional effort to sell a book". It's just very painful for us for all of us at NBC and the Today Show.

Farrow is best known as one of the journalists who broke the story about sexual assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

She later went up to Lauer's hotel room, first to pick up her press credential and then a second time when Lauer invited her back.

A Lauer statement was given to Variety via his attorney. "Brooke did not do or say anything to object", Lauer wrote.

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In a statement read Wednesday on "Today", NBC News said, "Matt Lauer's conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time".

"These are not allegations of an affair, these are allegations of a crime", said Kotb. At the time of his firing, reporters commented that it was an open secret that Lauer not only preyed on his colleagues but intimidated them into silence over it as well.

The former employee, Brooke Nevils, says she was too drunk to give consent and told Lauer multiple times that she did not want to have anal sex before he allegedly raped her. "It was completely transactional". Farrow's new book, Catch and Kill, provides similarly eerie details about how Lauer has spent years preying on women.

Due to her fear over the power Lauer had to help or hurt her career, Nevils admits she embarked on a consensual sexual affair with Lauer. Farrow says Nevils told colleagues and superiors at NBC about the encounters. "I remember thinking, Is this normal?' She told me she stopped saying no, but wept silently into a pillow", Farrow writes, adding that Nevils said she "she bled for days". She certainly did not cry.

Nevils did not immediately report the alleged attack to NBCUniversal executives. That's why he was sacked within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. She did and soon learned the higher-ups at NBC News "were emphasizing that the incident hadn't been "criminal" or an 'assault" - which apparently caused her to throw up. The people who should be addressing it are NBC execs who knew about this and did nothing except cover it up, and then try to shut down Farrow's reporting on Weinstein over what now looks like an attempt to keep the cover on Lauer's predation. Farrow reports that she left the network in 2018 with a payout in the "seven figures". He says the Sochi encounter was the beginning of his extramarital affair with Nevils.

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