Former ‘Today’ show anchor Matt Lauer accused of rape in new book

U.S. & World

(CNN) — Former “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer is denying rape allegations in a letter published in Variety magazine on Wednesday.

Lauer is being accused of rape by Brooke Nevils, a former NBC colleague, in a new report about his firing two years ago.

Lauer said the rape accusation is “categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense.” He said he had an extramarital affair with Nevils which continued after the Olympics.

Nevils’ allegations are part of a new book by Ronan Farrow entitled “Catch and Kill.”

In it, Nevils tells her story publically for the first time.

Variety magazine published excerpts of Farrow’s book on Tuesday.

Nevils says the rape occurred while the two were in Sochi, Russia, covering the 2014 Winter Olympics.

She told Farrow it happened after a night of drinking at a hotel bar with several work colleagues.

Nevils said Lauer invited her to his hotel room and then forced himself on her and sodomized her.

She said she had not consented to the sexual act, which she called “excruciatingly painful.”

She also told Farrow she and Lauer had later sexual encounters that were consensual.

“Catch and Kill” is set to be released next Tuesday.

Lauer said Nevils’ claims are “part of a promotional effort to sell a book.”

Lauer, in a letter provided to Variety, called Nevils “a fully enthusiastic and willing partner” in the sexual encounter.

Nevils reported the alleged attack to NBC Universal executives three years later.

Lauer was fired by NBC the next day in 2017 for what it called inappropriate sexual conduct.

Nevils says former “Today Show” host Meredith Vieira urged her to get a lawyer and speak with NBC.

Farrow reports that she left the network in 2018 with a payout in the “seven figures.”

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