Recent allegations against disgraced journalist Matt Lauer have surfaced from Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book “Catch and Kill.” Lauer was fired from the Today Show in November 2017 due to allegations of sexual misconduct.
Farrow recently gave a preview of his book, revealing allegations from Brooke Nevils, the former NBC News employee whose complaint prompted the anchor’s firing, according to Variety. In “Catch and Kill,” Nevils allegedly accuses Lauer of raping her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Since the accusation hit the headlines, Lauer has emphatically denied the allegations, and his former co-hosts had some thoughts of their own on the disturbing topic.
A dark day in November
At the time of his firing, Guthrie was the one who had to break the news to America, live on television. “As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated, and we are still processing all of this. And I will tell you right now, we do not know more than what I just shared with you,” Guthrie said at the time, according to Variety. “But we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists.”
Guthrie, who was clearly shaken and fighting back tears, expressed her sadness at the troubling turn of events. “All we can say is that we are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt — he is my dear, dear friend and my partner,” Guthrie said. “And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell.”
Kotb also shared her distress at the time, commenting on her long friendship with Lauer. “This is a very tough morning for both of us,” Kotb said. “I’ve loved him as a friend and as a colleague, and again just like you were saying Savannah, it’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know.”
Al Roker, the Today Show’s popular weatherman and co-host for decades, was obviously saddened by the announcement, saying on-air, “Dealing with the news of our friend of 30 years, and we’re all trying to process it. We’ll deal with it along with you folks, as well.”
According to Deadline, the anchor team had to report on Lauer again on October 9 regarding the latest allegations against him. Guthrie called the new bombshell “shocking and appalling” and Kotb stated to viewers, “We don’t know the facts in all of this, but they are not allegations of an affair. They are allegations of a crime.”
Guthrie and Kotb, who had been side by side giving the announcement of Lauer’s firing, addressed the obvious conflict of interest reporting on yet another accusation against their former colleague. Both anchors were clearly rocked by the news. “I feel like we owe it to our viewers to pause for a moment,” Guthrie said during the segment, her voice shaking. “This is shocking and appalling, and I honestly don’t even know what to say about it. I know it wasn’t easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then. It is not easy now, and we support her and any women who come forward with claims. And it is just very painful. For all of us at NBC who are at the Today show, it is very, very difficult.”
Kotb weighed in as well, expressing utter shock at the allegations. “You feel like you know someone for 12 years, you feel like you know them inside and out, and all of the sudden a door opens up and it is a part of them you didn’t know… I think that is shocking to all of us here who have sat with Matt for many, many years,” adding, “I think we are just going to continue to process this part of this horrific story. As you said, our thoughts are with Brooke. It is not easy to come forward.”
Guthrie added that they were all “disturbed to their core.”
Roker was visibly distraught by the news of his longtime former colleague. “It’s a — really, a sad, sad day,” Roker said, according to PopSugar. “I mean, [there are] some horrific allegations, claims and charges. Again, as you said, we really feel badly for Brooke Nevils. Our heart goes out to her, it took a lot of courage for her to do that. It’s just a sad, sad story.”
Deadline reported a statement from NBC News regarding the latest allegations. “Matt Lauer’s conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time,” the statement read. “That’s why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague.”
Lauer penned a detailed letter which was released by his lawyer, refuting Nevils’ claims. “The story Brooke tells is filled with false details intended only to create the impression this was an abusive encounter. Nothing could be further from the truth,” the statement read in part, according to Variety. “I have never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period.”
With Farrow’s book being released on October 15, there may be more developments and commentary to come.