Matt Lauer denies rape allegation in lengthy letter, claiming he had 'consensual affair' with former co-worker

Clémence Michallon
Matt Lauer reports for the NBC Today show in the Olympic Park ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on 5 February, 2014 in Sochi, Russia: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Matt Lauer has issued a lengthy denial of the rape allegation made against him by a former NBC staffer.

In the statement, published in full by Variety, Lauer describes his relationship with his former coworker as a consensual, extra-marital affair.

The letter came after it was reported on Tuesday that Brooke Nevils, an ex-NBC staffer, alleges that Lauer raped her at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

Nevils’s allegation appears in Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book Catch & Kill, which is being released on 15 October.

“In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault. It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense,” Lauer wrote in his response.

He added: “I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils 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. We performed oral sex on each other, we had vaginal sex, and we had anal sex. Each act was mutual and completely consensual.”

Lauer goes on to dispute Nevils’s account, saying he eventually “ended the affair poorly”.

“For two years, the women with whom I had extramarital relationships have abandoned shared responsibility, and instead, shielded themselves from blame behind false allegations,” he wrote.

“They have avoided having to look a boyfriend, husband, or a child in the eye and say, ‘I cheated.’ They have done enormous damage in the process. And I will no longer provide them the shelter of my silence.”

Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, Lauer’s former Today show colleagues, reacted to the allegation on air on Wednesday, saying the claim has left them “disturbed to [their] core”.

The Independent has contacted Nevils for comment.