Former “Today” show host Matt Lauer has denied a bombshell claim of sexual assault that was made by a former NBC staffer, saying they are “categorically false.”
He wrote a letter on Wednesday in response to Ronan Farrow’s book, “Catch and Kill,” in which a woman named Brooke Nevils claimed that he assaulted her in his hotel room in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
Nevils, an NBC producer, said that she had several alcoholic drinks before going to his hotel room before the assault took place, according to Variety, which detailed the allegations in the book.
Due to the disturbing nature of the allegations, The Epoch Times has chosen not to include the details of the assault.
In the letter, Lauer wrote that it was an affair but was not an assault. “It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense,” he stated, adding that she consented, according to The New York Post.
The longtime NBC host then accused Nevils of making “false accusations,” saying she is looking to profit and wants to shop for a book deal.
“Now she is making outrageous and false accusations to help sell a different book and stepping into the spotlight to cause as much damage as she can,” Lauer wrote. “But Brooke’s story is filled with contradictions. Which Brooke is to be believed?”
In the book, Nevils said she was frightened by the control Lauer had over her career.
“At no time during our relationship did Brooke work for me, the ‘Today Show,’ or NBC News,” he said. “She worked for Meredith Vieira (who had not worked for the Today Show in several years) in a completely different part of the network, and I had no role in reviewing Brooke’s work.”
Lauer then said that there are people who can corroborate his claims.
“There are people who fully understand the actual dynamic that existed between Brooke and me,” he wrote. “They have reluctantly and quietly reached out in the past two years and shared what they know. They have accurately described Brooke and her role in this affair. I hope those people will understand that these allegations cross a serious line, and what they can share is a vital truth, even if it may seem unpopular.”
In the letter, he also spoke about an infamous claim that he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door.
“Despite numerous erroneous reports in the past, there was not a button in my office that could lock the door from the inside,” he said. “There was no such locking mechanism. It didn’t exist. NBC confirmed this fact publicly following my termination.”
After the allegations were revealed on Wednesday, NBC News was forced to issue a statement.
“Matt Lauer’s conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time. That’s why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague,” the statement read.
Host Savannah Guthrie also commented on the matter on the air.
“I feel like we owe it to our viewers to pause for a moment, you know, this is shocking and appalling,” Guthrie said. “I honestly don’t even know what to say about it.”
In 2017, Lauer stepped down from his role as co-host of “Today,” a ratings juggernaut for the network, after allegations of misconduct surfaced.
The Epoch Times has not seen a copy of Farrow’s book, “Catch and Kill,” which is slated for release on Oct. 15.