Hours after Variety published journalist Ronan Farrow’s interview with Nevils — which is included in his new book, Catch and Kill — the shamed former Today co-anchor released his own statement.
In a letter to Variety sent through his lawyer, Lauer, 61, denied all allegations of sexual assault while admitting to various extramarital affairs.
“Despite my desire to set the record straight and confront the individuals making false allegations, I wanted nothing less than to create more headlines my kids would read and a new gathering of photographers at the end of our driveway,” wrote Lauer, explaining why he’s stayed quiet about his scandal for the past two years. “But my silence has been a mistake.”
Apart from his initial statement after his firing, Lauer’s recent statement marks the first time he’s spoken of his sexual misconduct allegations since 2017.
“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. All are being spread as part of a promotional effort to sell a book. It’s outrageous. So, after not speaking out to protect my children, it is now with their full support I say ‘enough,’” wrote Lauer.
He said that while he did, in fact, have an “extramarital affair" with Nevils in 2014, it was entirely “consensual” and lasted several months.
“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,” he wrote, referencing Nevils’ allegations.
In her interview with Farrow, 31, Nevils claimed Lauer lured her into his hotel suite after she was drunk off six shots of vodka, and anally raped her as she objected and cried.
“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,” wrote Lauer. “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.”
That day, Lauer said, marked the beginning of their affair, and “was the first of many sexual encounters between us over the next several months.”
Afterwards, he said Nevils visited him at his New York City apartment, went out to drinks with him, kept in touch with him via phone and text, and even once had sex with him in his dressing room at NBC’s headquarters.
Lauer said it was all “terrible judgement” on his part, but not rape.
Speaking of Nevils’ claims she was “terrified” of flagging the assault due to Lauer’s alleged control over her career, the former co-anchor said: “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.”
Lauer, suggesting a reason for Nevils’ allegedly false rape claims, said that he knows he “ended the affair poorly.”
“I simply stopped communicating with her. Brooke continued to reach out. She admitted to NBC at the time she filed her complaint that she called me late at night while I was home with my family in an effort to rekindle the affair. But I attempted to go back to my life and pretend as if nothing had happened,” he wrote.
“I understand how that must have made her feel,” Lauer added. “However, being upset or having second thoughts does not give anyone the right to make false accusations years later about an affair in which they fully and willingly participated.”
Lauer added that if he had known NBC thought he had sexually assaulted Nevils, he would have defended himself immediately — but he was unaware about the extent of her claims.
The exes share three kids together. The former model dumped Lauer after he was sent packing by the network over his sexual misconduct claims.
Though the former Today host reportedly tried to make his marriage work after admitting to and apologizing for his infidelity, Roque, 52, had had enough.
“Because of my infidelity, I have brought more pain and embarrassment to my family than most people can ever begin to understand. They’ve been through hell. I have asked for their forgiveness, taken responsibility for what I did do wrong, and accepted the consequences. But by not speaking out I also emboldened those who continue to do me harm with false stories,” wrote Lauer.
In his statement, he also set the record straight about some other details in his case, including the alleged office button some accusers said he used to lock them in.
“Despite numerous erroneous reports in the past, there was not a button in my office that could lock the door from the inside. There was no such locking mechanism. It didn’t exist. NBC confirmed this fact publicly following my termination,” he wrote.
“It would have been impossible to confine anyone in my office, for any purpose, and I have never attempted to make anyone feel as if they were confined in my office. I have never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period,” Lauer concluded.