Matt Lauer's Accuser Brooke Nevils Calls His Open Letter 'A Case Study in Victim Blaming'
By Rachel McRady
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Brooke Nevils is not letting Matt Lauer's statement stand. After excerpts from Ronan Farrow's upcoming book, Catch and Kill, were published by Variety on Tuesday night, Lauer released a letter rebutting Nevils' claim that he raped her when they were both working for NBC at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
In a statement toET on Thursday, Nevils slams Lauer's statement. "I knew what kind of person Matt Lauer was when I made the decision to report him to NBC in November 2017, and I knew what kind of a person he was when I made the decision to tell my story to Ronan Farrow," she says. "In both of those cases, I asked that my allegations be thoroughly investigated, and that Matt be given the opportunity to defend himself. I provided dates, times, evidence of communications, and corroborating accounts. Both NBC and Farrow found me credible."
Nevils continues, "As his open letter clearly reveals, there may be more than one Matt Lauer. 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. 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."
Her statement concludes, "This is the Matt Lauer, then the most powerful asset at NBC News, who I feared when I continued to engage with him, as many victims of acquaintance rape do, particularly in the workplace. This is the Matt Lauer I reported in November 2017. I was not afraid of him then, and I am not afraid of him now, regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would (and now has) tried to use against me. The shame in this story belongs to him."
In his open letter (which can be read in full here), Lauer denies all allegations against him, calling his and Nevils' encounter at the Sochi Olympics "mutual and completely consensual."
"Today, nearly two years after I was fired by NBC, old stories are being recycled, titillating details are being added, and a dangerous and defamatory new allegation is being made," Lauer writes. "All are being spread as part of a promotional effort to sell a book."
Also on Wednesday, Nevils took to Twitter to thank people for their support. "I want to thank the many survivors who shared their stories with me today and offered their support," she wrote. "It takes courage, and I am truly grateful."
I want to thank the many survivors who shared their stories with me today and offered their support. It takes courage, and I am truly grateful.