There are some things friendship just can’t weather. Such understandably seems to be the case with two formerly tightknit NBC colleagues, as Hoda Kotb and Matt Lauer are allegedly not speaking in the wake of new rape allegations against the latter. According to one source, the once “very, very close” pair maintained their friendship after his firing — but Kotb has distanced herself as more information about Lauer’s alleged behavior has surfaced.
Although the source told Us Weekly that Lauer is “stunned” by Kotb’s decision to cut off communication, he surely can’t be surprised. Earlier in the month, on Oct. 9, Kotb and Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie emotionally addressed their audience. That morning, new details about Lauer’s reported sexual assault against former NBC employee Brooke Nevils were made available in the form of investigative journalist Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill. Nevils’ name was not new in connection to Lauer’s termination at the network. In 2017, she lodged her first complaint against him after confiding in Meredith Vieira, who urged her to hire a lawyer and to take her complaint to human resources.
But the details in Farrow’s book were new to the public, not to mention disturbing and heartbreaking in equal measure — the claim being that Lauer anally raped Nevils in his hotel room during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. According to Nevils, she was “too drunk to consent.”
Overnight, troubling new allegations about former TODAY anchor Matt Lauer were revealed from journalist Ronan Farrow’s soon-to-be-released book “Catch and Kill.” @MorganRadford reports the details. pic.twitter.com/7ooO3oAJ5X
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 9, 2019
Following Kotb and Guthrie’s Oct. 9 segment, Lauer’s lawyer shared a letter with Us Weekly “categorically” denying Nevils’ story. What happened in the hotel room was an “extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter,” the letter read. “We engaged in a variety of sexual acts,” wrote Lauer. “Each act was mutual and completely consensual.” However, NBC clearly found Nevils’ claims compelling enough to terminate Lauer’s longtime contract, which they did in November 2017. Since that time, Lauer and his wife of almost 21 years, Annette Roque separated. Their divorce became finalized in September of this year.
With Farrow’s book, the conversation surrounding Lauer has picked back up. Last week, Megyn Kelly publicly slammed NBC News, insisting they should have hired an outside investigator as soon as a complaint was filed as opposed to relying on an internal investigation.
Kelly’s insinuation? Perhaps the network wasn’t — and isn’t — doing enough to protect the women who work there. “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,” said Kelly.