In Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators (out now), Nevils reveals that she’s suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since filing the complaint that led to Lauer’s firing in November 2017.
“Over the past two years, Nevils had attempted suicide,” writes Farrow, 31. “She’s been hospitalized for post-traumatic stress disorder, descended into heavy drinking, pulled herself back.”
Nevils, 35, also experienced extreme weight loss from the stress, according to the book.
“She’d lost fourteen pounds,” Farrow writes. “And gone to doctors twenty-one times in a single-month period.”
While Nevils doesn’t regret her decision to speak out, it didn’t come without consequences.
“I’ve lost everything I cared about,” she says in the book. “My job. My goals.”
In the book, Nevils alleges that Lauer, 61, anally raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where she was working for NBC under Meredith Vieira.
“It was non-consensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent,” she tells Farrow in the book. “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
Nevils says 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 to Variety last week denying the allegations, saying the encounter in Sochi was the beginning of a consensual affair with Nevils and “the first of many sexual encounters between us over the next several months.”
In Catch and Kill, Nevils describes two of the “sexual encounters” she had with Lauer following the rape, describing both as being non-consensual. In one instance, she says he “grabbed her hips and fingered her” while she was looking for something in his office.
“I just went numb. In my internal narrative, I failed because I didn’t say no,” she says in the book.
Nevils tells Farrow that Lauer asked for oral sex in exchange for a recorded farewell message to her then-boyfriend, who was leaving NBC for a new job.
“I was really upset. I felt terrible,” she says in the book. “I was trying to do this nice thing, and I had to give Matt a blow job to get him to film a goodbye video. I just felt sick.”
In his denial letter, Lauer wrote: “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. 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, also said that people were aware of the affair.
“There are people who fully understand the actual dynamic that existed between Brooke and me,” he said. “They have reluctantly and quietly reached out in the past two years and shared what they know. They have accurately described Brooke and her role in this affair. I hope those people will understand that these allegations cross a serious line, and what they can share is a vital truth, even if it may seem unpopular.”
Lauer concluded by stating that he has “never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period.”
Nevils responded to Lauer’s letter on Wednesday, referring to it as 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,” she said in a statement that aired on NBC Nightly News.
“His open letter was a case study in victim-blaming,” Nevils said, adding, “I am not afraid of him now.”
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.
— Brooke Nevils (@BrookeNevils) October 9, 2019
“Regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would (and now has) tried to use against me,” Nevils concluded.
Nevils also expressed gratitude to those who have been moved to share their own stories after hearing hers.
“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 tweeted.