The former NBC employee whose harassment complaint led to Matt Lauer being fired now says he raped her while they were on assignment at the 2014 Olympics in Russia.
In graphic detail, Brooke Nevils recounted the alleged attack to investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, describing a night of drinking with colleagues in Sochi that ended with Lauer allegedly forcing her to have anal sex. Her story is part of Farrow's new book, "Catch and Kill."
Copies of the book, which hasn't gone on sale yet, have been obtained by news outlets including Variety and CNN.
Lauer, who was terminated by the network two years ago after Nevils complained of "inappropriate sexual behavior" on Lauer's part, hit back hard Wednesday against her new accusations of rape.
In a three-page open letter, the disgraced former journalist said Nevils' assault accusations were "categorically false." The two had a consensual affair that began in Sochi, he said.
"The story Brooke tells is filled with false details intended only to create the impression this was an abusive encounter," he wrote. "Nothing could be farther from the truth."
Nevils came to his 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."
In Farrow's book, Nevils said she was summoned to Lauer's hotel room, and had no reason to be apprehensive because she had been to Lauer's hotel room many times without incident.
But on this night, she said, Lauer pushed her onto the bed, "asking if she liked anal sex," Farrow wrote. "She said that she declined several times." Nevils said she was very intoxicated. "It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent. It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn't want to have anal sex," Farrow quotes her as saying.
After that encounter, Nevils said, she continued having sex with Lauer. Farrow wrote, “What is not in dispute is that Nevils, like several of the women I’d spoken to, had further sexual encounters with the man she said assaulted her.” Nevils told Farrow, “This is what I blame myself most for. It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship.”
Lauer's letter said he had remained quiet since his firing to protect his family. He was breaking his silence, he said, because he now believed that decision was "a mistake."
In a statement Wednesday, NBC News said, "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."
On Wednesday's installment of the "Today," show, host Savannah Guthrie said, "This is shocking and appalling and I don’t even know what to say about it. I want to say that we know it wasn’t easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then. It’s not easy now and we support her and any women who have come forward with claims,” Guthrie said. “We are disgusted to our core.”