Matt Lauer Photographed for the First Time Since Being Accused of Raping NBC News Colleague
The ousted news anchor stepped out in the Hamptons to grab breakfast on Wednesday. Lauer, 61, was dressed casually for the outing, wearing a pair of blue jeans with a grey sweater.
“Matt has been hunkered down in the Hamptons in anticipation of this book,” a source told PEOPLE. “He knew bad things were in it, but he didn’t know exactly what was going to make it into the news.”
In Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators (out now), Nevils alleges that Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Nevils reportedly told Farrow she was “too drunk to consent” and also stated multiple times that she did not want to have anal intercourse.
Nevils said 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, 61, penned a lengthy letter to Variety responding to the allegations Wednesday. The fired Today co-anchor wrote that the encounter in Sochi was the beginning of his affair with Nevils and called it “extramarital, but consensual.”
“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.”
Lauer, who pointed out what he claims are “contradictions” in Nevils’ story and acknowledged that people were aware of the affair, concluded by stating that he has “never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period.”
Nevils slammed Lauer’s open letter, calling it a “case study in victim shaming.”
“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,” Nevils said on a statement that aired on NBC Nightly News.
“I am not afraid of him now,” Nevils said. “Regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would (and now has) tried to use against me.”
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.