A “well-respected” star at NBC had an affair with former “Today” host Matt Lauer — a tryst which “represent[ed] a ‘clear imbalance of power,’” according to the New York Post.
The alleged affair hit the news on Tuesday, a mere week after news broke of a rape accusation against Lauer from former NBC employee Brooke Nevils. The accusation has been vehemently denied by Lauer.
The woman Lauer allegedly had an affair with signed a nondisclosure agreement before she departed NBC, the Post reported.
“Matt had influence over everyone’s career — one word and your career would be sunk. I know there was a clear imbalance of power in this woman’s relationship with Matt,” a TV source told the paper.
Journalist Ronan Farrow’s new book “Catch and Kill” “claims Lauer repeatedly harassed a fellow on-air NBC personality, who was allegedly forced to sign a strict NDA when she left the network in 2012,” Fox News noted Wednesday. It’s unclear if the woman in the book is the same one tied to Lauer in the Post report.
According to Farrow, the woman who left the network in 2012 claimed Lauer and another NBC executive “propositioned her and made lewd comments about her during broadcasts,” Fox reported.
“I was like meat on a hook … I would walk into work with a knot in my stomach. I would come home and cry,” she claimed.
After she turned down their advances, the woman claimed her “career took a sharp nosedive.”
The accuser told fellow colleagues of the alleged harassment but never filed a complaint with human resources, noted Fox. “When she left, NBC forced her to sign a nondisclosure agreement that waived her right to sue and banned her from making disparaging comments about the network, the book states.”
As reported by The Daily Wire last week, Nevils told Farrow that she was anally raped by Lauer in 2014 while covering the Sochi Olympics.
Nevils said that she, then-“Today” anchor Meredith Vieira, and Lauer had drinks at the hotel bar the NBC team was staying at during the Olympics. After socializing, Nevils said she went to Lauer’s hotel room to get back her press credentials, which she said were taken by Lauer as a joke. She then returned to his room a second time upon invitation, when the alleged rape took place.
“Once she was in his hotel room, Nevils alleges, Lauer — who was wearing a T-shirt and boxers — pushed her against the door and kissed her. He then pushed her onto the bed, ‘flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex,’ Farrow writes. ‘She said that she declined several times,’” the Variety report said.
Nevils claims she “was in the midst of telling him she wasn’t interested again when he ‘just did it,’” Farrow wrote in the book. “Lauer, she said, didn’t use lubricant. The encounter was excruciatingly painful. ‘It hurt so bad. I remember thinking, Is this normal?’ She told me she stopped saying no, but wept silently into a pillow.”
“It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” the former NBC employee told Farrow. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
Nevils admitted that she had consensual sexual encounters with Lauer following the alleged rape — some of which she initiated.
On Wednesday, Lauer’s lawyer sent Variety an open letter admitting to the affair with Nevils but sharply denying any coercion.
“In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault,” wrote Lauer. “It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense.”
“I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014,” the 61-year-old continued. “It began when she came to my 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.”