Matt Lauer accuser Brooke Nevils slams former NBC host's open letter as 'case study in victim-blaming'

Nevils alleges that Lauer raped her in 2014

Clémence Michallon
New York
Thursday 10 October 2019 18:37
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb respond to rape allegation against Matt Lauer

The former NBC staffer who has accused Matt Lauer of allegedly raping her has called his statement responding to the allegation “an exercise in victim-blaming”.

Brooke Nevils responded to Lauer’s open letter in a statement to NBC News on Thursday.

“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,” Nevils said of the former Today show co-host.

She added: “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.”

According to excerpts of Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book Catch & Kill published on Tuesday by Variety, Nevils says that Lauer allegedly raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Lauer disputed her account in an open letter published on Wednesday by Variety, alleging that he and Nevils had a consensual affair together.

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

“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.”

Lauer was sacked from his Today show position in November 2017 due to alleged ”inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace”.

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Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, Lauer’s former Today show colleagues who now co-host the programme, reacted to Nevils’s allegation on the air on Wednesday, offering their support to Nevils.

The Independent has contacted a representative for Lauer for comment.

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