On Wednesday, October 9, she released a statement, which aired on NBC Nightly News saying, “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,” Nevils, 32, added. “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.”
On Twitter, she also showed gratitude for her supporters.
“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,” Nevils wrote.
Her statement came hours after Lauer, 61, shared an open letter, published by Variety, denying any non-consensual sex with Nevils, and accusing her of trying to get revenge on him after he ended their affair badly.
“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,” he said. “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,” the former Today Show co-anchor wrote.
Lauer — who recently finalized his divorce from Annette Roque — added that after months of being intimate, Nevils continued to seek him out to continue their affair, but he ignored her advances and stopped communicating with her, because he wanted to focus on his family and pretend their romance never happened.
Nevils, in her interview with Ronan Farrow for his new book “Catch and Kill,” said that she felt ashamed about going back to Lauer after the alleged rape during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. She claimed, however, that during the assault, she made it clear she was not okay, and even cried into her pillow when he anally penetrated her without her consent.
Lauer, in his denial of the events, said Nevils did not cry, and was in fact willing to perform many other sexual acts. He said that night in Sochi, their affair began.
“It was non-consensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” Nevils reportedly told Farrow, 31. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
Lauer concluded his letter by saying that he has “never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period.”
Following both parties’ statements, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack wrote an internal email to NBC staff which was later obtained by PEOPLE.
“First, and most importantly, in reading today’s news our hearts go out to our former colleague. Matt Lauer’s conduct in 2014 was appalling and reprehensible — and of course we said so at the time,” he wrote. “The first moment we learned of it was the night of November 27, 2017, and he was fired in 24 hours. Any suggestion that we knew prior to that evening or tried to cover up any aspect of Lauer’s conduct is absolutely false and offensive.”
In her interview with Farrow, Nevils said she told NBC staffers and bosses about the alleged rape as soon as it happened, and when she took a medical leave from the network following Lauer’s firing, she was given a seven-figure payout.