I don’t know Matt Lauer and I don’t care about him. He may be the biggest scumbag on earth for all I know, but when I see a rape accusation against a man with obvious, glaring inconsistencies in it, it bothers me that this whole thing is being made public.
Because just from what we know, we have a lot of reasons to doubt what his accuser, Brooke Nevils, has to say. The first is her explanation of how the rape happened. It’s not exculpatory for Lauer, but it does raise some serious questions.
She told Farrow that while in Sochi, she and former “Today” co-anchor Meredith Vieira were having drinks at a hotel bar when they ran into Lauer, who joined them.
The book details Nevils’ account of going to Lauer’s hotel room two times — once to retrieve her press credential, which she said Lauer had taken as a joke, and a second time after he invited her.
Nevils alleges Lauer pushed her against the door and kissed her, before forcing her on the bed and “flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex,” the book says. Nevils reportedly “said that she declined several times,” according to Variety.
Nevils “was in the midst of telling him she wasn’t interested again when he ‘just did it,'” and it was not consensual, the book reportedly says. Lauer then asked Nevils if she liked it and she told him yes, the booked alleges.
“It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” Nevils told Farrow, according to Variety. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
So, she had been drinking with Lauer and he invited her back to his hotel room. This is the world’s most obvious code for “let’s have sex” and notice the weasel words she uses, “It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent.” In other words, they were both drinking, he invited her back to his room and she willingly had sex with him, but in her mind, the consent doesn’t count because she was drunk. Was Matt Lauer drunk, too? If two drunk people willingly go somewhere with the intention of having sex, how can it be that one of them is a rapist if the other isn’t? That raises a lot of questions.
As to him raping her by forcing her to have anal, when you see what happened afterward, you have to question what she’s saying.
Nevils also told Farrow that she later had other sexual encounters with Lauer. Sources close to Lauer said she sometimes initiated contact, Farrow wrote.
She said she blames herself for those encounters and was terrified of the control Lauer had over her career, according to Variety.
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She described the sex she had with Lauer as “transactional.” In other words, he was famous and powerful, so she chose to have sex with him because it was good for her career. I think it’s particularly noteworthy that she admits SHE INITIATED SEX with Lauer. So apparently, whatever happened between her and Lauer initially wasn’t all that traumatizing to her since she had an affair with him afterward.
Again, I don’t care about Matt Lauer per se, but I think when you see accusations like this, made by a woman who was having an affair with Lauer, I think there should be a high level of skepticism about her charges — and it’s just not there. The fact that there’s an unproven accusation is enough to ruin Lauer’s career and get him publicly branded a rapist. Meanwhile, she left NBC with “seven figures” because she claimed that her first of many sexual encounters with Matt Lauer wasn’t consensual.
Despite her sketchy story, even questioning whether Nevils is telling the truth is supposed to be off-limits, but if she’s lying, it is Lauer who is the victim here, not her. Does anyone even care whether these accusations are true or not? Whether the accusations against any particular man are true or not? Sadly, in the media, the answer to that question seems to be “no.”
Update: Matt Lauer has a response that makes a lot more sense than what Brooke Nevils claimed,
I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014. 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.
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. There was absolutely nothing aggressive about that encounter. Brooke did not do or say anything to object. She certainly did not cry. She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner. At no time did she behave in a way that made it appear she was incapable of consent. She seemed to know exactly what she wanted to do. The only concern she expressed was that someone might see her leaving my room. She embraced me at the door as she left.
This encounter, which she now falsely claims was an assault, was the beginning of our affair. It was the first of many sexual encounters between us over the next several months. After we returned to New York, we both communicated by text and by phone. We met for drinks, and she met me at my apartment on multiple occasions to continue our affair. Our meetings were arranged mutually. At no time, during or after her multiple visits to my apartment, did she express in words or actions any discomfort with being there, or with our affair.
She also went out of her way to see me several times in my dressing room at work, and on one of those occasions we had a sexual encounter. It showed terrible judgment on my part, but it was completely mutual and consensual.
Brooke now says that she was terrified about the control I had over her career and felt pressure to agree to our encounters after Sochi. But at no time during our relationship did Brooke work for me, the Today Show, or NBC News. She worked for Meredith Vieira (who had not worked for the Today Show in several years) in a completely different part of the network, and I had no role in reviewing Brooke’s work.