In an explosive interview with “Good Morning America,” Ronan Farrow released shocking details from his upcoming book “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators”. The book, set to be released on Oct. 15, alleges an abundance of cover-ups by NBC News’ leadership and further details an alleged rape by former “Today” co-anchor Matt Lauer.
Matt Lauer, a former NBC employee and “Today” show co-anchor, was fired within 24 hours of the company learning of a sexual misconduct allegation against him on Nov. 27, 2017.
Earlier this week, “Variety” revealed that those allegations came from former NBC employee Brooke Nevils, who worked as a producer for “Today” co-anchor Meredith Vieira. “Catch And Kill” details how Brooke alleges that Matt Lauer anally raped her while they were both on assignment covering the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Matt Lauer released a lengthy statement denying that any part of his contact with Brooke was non-consensual, claiming he had an extramarital affair and that all claims of sexual misconduct against him are “categorically false.”
Ronan Farrow defended Brooke on “Good Morning America,” saying she “consistently has described” the incident in Sochi “as non-consensual.” When asked by ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos whether the term “rape” was used when the allegations were initially reported to NBC News, Ronan says they were purposefully careful in the terms that were used.
“We’re very careful about laying out exactly what happened and what she said when she went to them,” Ronan replied. And although, like many victims of sexual assault, Brooke may have been “too scared” to use the specific terminology, he says the actions Brooke detailed “unambiguously described a rape.”
Following the interview, a representative for Brooke continued to back Ronan’s description of the events; “The way it’s been described by Ronan is accurate and the book backs it up.”
On top of the shocking allegations from Brooke, Ronan’s book make multiple claims that NBC News knew of other allegations against Matt Lauer before 2017 and took steps to cover it up.
.@GMA EXCLUSIVE: @RonanFarrow sits down one-on-one with @GStephanopoulos to discuss allegations against Matt Lauer, his Harvey Weinstein investigation and NBC News' response to his reporting detailed in his new book "Catch and Kill." https://t.co/W1vUNMab63 pic.twitter.com/CrfPeYvFyM
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 11, 2019
“What we show in this book – with a paper trail, with documents – is that there were multiple secret settlements and non-disclosures being struck with women at NBC years before, over a period of six to seven years,” Ronan told George Stephanopoulos.
He further claims that NBC News tried to squelch his investigation into Harvey Weinstein, saying network executives “Told me and a producer working on this that we should not take a single call, they told us to cancel interviews.” This, Ronan says, is what led him to leave the company and publish his expose in “The New Yorker.”
NBC News Chairman Andy Lack released a statement denying both claims, saying first that Lauer was fired immediately after executives learned of a credible allegation against the anchor. “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,” Andy wrote.
Matt Lauer’s attorney also responded to the claims Ronan made on “Good Morning America,” saying “In 25 years at NBC, Matt Lauer did not have a single complaint brought to his attention until November 28, 2017.”
Andy Lack also fiercely denied the claims that NBC News tried to stop Ronan’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein, saying the company assigned the story to Ronan and supported him for many months. Andy then says “he simply didn’t have a story that met our standard for broadcast,” claiming NBC reluctantly let him take his reporting elsewhere.
“Catch and Kill” will be in bookstores next week.