New allegations have emerged against former Today host Matt Lauer — and Megyn Kelly wants to know why NBC isn’t paying more attention. Kelly is slamming NBC News amid Lauer’s new sexual assault allegations, claiming the network should have hired an outside investigator right away. NBC fired Lauer in 2017, but their only investigation was conducted by NBC Universal’s own general counsel.
Kelly exclusively told Us Weekly today: “Comcast, which owns NBC Universal, is a $200 billion company …There is zero reason why with those resources, and if NBC truly has nothing to hide, it should not hire an outside investigator to look into the allegations that NBC executives have facilitated and covered up a culture of sexual harassment and abuse.”
Earlier this month, Kelly addressed the same issue on Fox News: “They investigated themselves,” the former NBC host says of the network. “That doesn’t work. This is how it’s done. You get somebody on the outside who can be trusted.”
In 2018, NBC made the results of its internal investigation public. The report included this statement: “We found no evidence indicating that any NBC News or Today show leadership, News H.R. or others in positions of authority in the News Division received any complaints about Lauer’s workplace behavior prior to Nov. 27, 2017.”
The report did admit that “a number of individuals” had noted Lauer’s inappropriate, “sexually-oriented” comments in the workplace. But they insist nothing ever rose to the level of a formal complaint until November 2017.
The new allegations against Lauer are included in Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill. Former NBC employee Brooke Nevils alleges that Lauer raped her while on a trip to Russia covering the 2014 Winter Olympics. Nevils recalls being “too drunk” to consent, and adds this: “It was nonconsensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn’t want to have anal sex.”
Lauer has since denied the allegations, claiming all sexual encounters between himself and Nevils were “mutual and completely consensual.” NBC News Chief Andy Lack also responded to the allegations with a letter to his staff.
“First, and most importantly, in reading today’s news our hearts go out to our former colleague,” the letter reads. “Matt Lauer’s conduct in 2014 was appalling and reprehensible – and of course we said so at the time. The first moment we learned of it was the night of November 27, 2017, and he was fired in 24 hours. Any suggestion that we knew prior to that evening or tried to cover up any aspect of Lauer’s conduct is absolutely false and offensive.”
Echoing that, NBC Universal spokesperson Hilary Smith told The Hollywood Reporter last week that there was no need for further investigation. “There is no additional investigation being launched,” she confirmed. “We are very confident in the report that was conducted.”
Megyn Kelly, however, isn’t quite so confident. “These claims have been made not just by Ronan Farrow and NBC producer Rich McHugh, but also by former NBC journalists Ann Curry and Linda Vester, rape survivor Sil Lai Abrams and others,” she notes. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant — which is why firms like CBS, Fox News, NPR, and the NFL hired outside investigators to look into similar claims.”