Matt Lauer Is 'Hunkered Down in the Hamptons' as NBC Colleague Accuses Him of Rape, Source Says

Matt Lauer put his $44 million Hamptons family home on the market over the summer

As he faces the explosive allegations in journalist Ronan Farrow‘s new book about the #MeToo movement, former Today co-anchor Matt Lauer is lying low in the Hamptons.

“Matt has been hunkered down in the Hamptons in anticipation of this book,” a source tells PEOPLE. “He knew bad things were in it, but he didn’t know exactly what was going to make it into the news.”

In Variety‘s excerpt of Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, out Oct. 15, the journalist interviews former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils, whose complaint about Lauer led to his firing in November 2017. She claims that Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room while working at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

A rep for Lauer did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, but Lauer denied raping Nevils in a letter to Variety, saying he had an “extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter” with her.

According to Variety‘s excerpt, Nevils alleges that Lauer, 61, pushed her against a door and kissed her before moving to the bed and “flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex,” Farrow wrote. “She said that she declined several times.”

She “was in the midst of telling him she wasn’t interested again when he ‘just did it,’ ” Farrow wrote. “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.”

Farrows says Nevils that “bled for days.”

“It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” Nevils said in the book, according to Variety. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”

PEOPLE is out to Nevils for comment.

Matt Lauer. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Lauer, who recently finalized his divorce from longtime wife Annette Roque, acknowledged in his lengthy letter to Variety that the encounter was the beginning of his affair with Nevils and “the first of many sexual encounters between us over the next several months.”

“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 continued. “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.”

Lauer admitted he ended the affair “poorly” and “simply stopped communicating” with Nevils and concluded his letter by stating that he has “never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period.”

In June, PEOPLE confirmed that Lauer had made plans to sell the $44 million Hamptons family home where he has been living since his firing from NBC.

The house, a beachfront estate he bought for $36.5 million from actor Richard Gere, according to the New York Post, is just one of several million-dollar properties Lauer has purchased in the celebrity-favorite summer destination over the years.

The 12-bedroom, 12-bath property, known as Strongheart Manor, features a 14,000-square-foot main house with two guesthouses and a basketball court on six acres.

Lauer was snapped enjoying some time in the Hamptons on several occasions this summer, from boating in Sag Harbor to attending the Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton with Roque.

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