NBC Late-Night Host Lilly Singh Calls Out Matt Lauer After He Is Accused of Raping Former Colleague
The A Little Late with Lilly Singh host is the first late-night personality on NBC to address the new claims about Lauer
On Tuesday night, the A Little Late host addressed Lauer, 61, and the new bombshell claims that he allegedly raped his former NBC News colleague Brooke Nevils.
Singh, 31, tackled the topic during her talk show’s recurring “Gift Basket” segment, in which she presents those “who’ve been having a hard time” with a mock gift basket to cheer them up.
“Our next gift basket is for none other than Matt Lauer,” she told her audience, noting how Lauer “was fired from this network after several allegations came up accusing the former news anchor of sexual assault, which he denies all of the claims.”
“Yeah, okay,” Singh sarcastically remarked, before presenting the ousted Today show anchor with a gift basket, which included a bottle of Jergen’s lotion, a button and two letters — all which had references to his past alleged actions. (He was not present to receive the basket.)
“Here’s a bottle of Jergen’s. Because the only thing that will be getting you off anytime soon is your own hand,” Singh said. “I got the travel size because I can’t imagine your tiny penis would need any more than that.”
“Next, here’s a button,” she went on. “It’s kind of like the one you allegedly had behind your desk to lock female co-workers in your office with you, except this one locks your penis in your pants.”
“Finally, I just read your open letter, where you not only refuse to take responsibility for your heinous actions, but you also blame your victims — yeah plural, victims — for your bad behavior. Incredible.”
“Matty boy, since you love letters so much, I got you two,” Singh added as she opened the envelopes and revealed the letters F and U from inside. “Would you look at that? It’s an F-U.”
An attorney for Lauer did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Singh’s segment, which was the first time that an NBC late-night personality has addressed Lauer and his alleged actions, comes two weeks after the rape accusation surfaced in an excerpt from Ronan Farrow‘s new book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.
In the book, Nevils alleges that Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Nevils told Farrow she was “too drunk to consent” and also stated multiple times that she did not want to have anal intercourse.
She also stated in the book that she had more sexual encounters with Lauer back in New York City, telling Farrow: “It was completely transactional. It was not a relationship.”
Lauer, who recently finalized his divorce from longtime wife Annette Roque, penned a lengthy letter in response, claiming the encounter was “extramarital, but consensual.” He said the encounter in Sochi was the beginning of his affair with Nevils and “the first of many sexual encounters between us over the next several months.”
The former Today anchor, who pointed out what he claims are “contradictions” in Nevils’ story, also argued that he did not have a hidden button inside his office that allowed him to lock the door from inside.
“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,” he wrote, before concluding by stating that he has “never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period.”
In response to his open letter, Nevils slammed Lauer and called his note a “case study in victim-blaming.”
“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,” she said in a statement. “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.”
In a statement read on-air on the Today show after Nevils’ rape accusation was first publicly reported, NBC News said, “Matt Lauer’s conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time. That’s why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague.”
In the wake of the allegations, Lauer has been keeping a low profile.
The ousted Today show anchor was photographed on Sunday grabbing fishing supplies from his boat in the Hamptons, where he has been living since he was first fired in November 2017 due to Nevils’ sexual misconduct complaint. He was also spotted picking up coffee in the Hamptons on Oct. 16.
Sources recently told PEOPLE that Lauer was maintaining a low profile in anticipation of Farrow’s book.
“Matt has been hunkered down in the Hamptons in anticipation of this book,” said one source. “He knew bad things were in it, but he didn’t know exactly what was going to make it into the news.”
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.