ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(NEW YORK) — Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill, details his investigation into Harvey Weinstein, as well as his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to get his then-employer, NBC News, to broadcast the story. It also includes a new allegation of rape against former NBC Today show anchor Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC in 2017 for alleged sexual misconduct.
According to Variety, which obtained excerpts from the book, a former NBC News producer who worked with NBC’s Meredith Vieira has come forward, identifying herself in Farrow’s book and stating that Lauer sexually assaulted her at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
According to the woman’s account detailed in Catch and Kill, Lauer joined her and Vieira for drinks and she ended up going back to Lauer’s room twice: once to retrieve her press credentials, and another because Lauer invited her back to the room. Once in the hotel room, the woman says Lauer — who was wearing a tee-shirt and boxers — pushed her against a door and kissed her, then pushed her onto the bed.
According to the Variety excerpts from Catch and Kill, the woman was in the midst of telling Lauer “no” when, “he just did it. It hurt so bad. I remember thinking, ‘Is this normal?’”
The woman told Farrow of the encounter, “It was non-consensual, in the sense that I was too drunk to consent. It was non-consensual in that I said multiple times that I didn’t want to.”
Back in New York City, according to the book excerpts, the woman told Farrow she went on to have further sexual encounters with Lauer that were consensual. After the initial encounter, according to Catch and Kill, the woman says she told colleagues and superiors at NBC about it, but nothing happened until she went to Meredith Vieira and told her what happened. Vieira urged the woman to go to NBC human resources with a lawyer.
Matt Lauer responded to the allegations Wednesday morning, writing in a statement, in part, “The story…is filled with false details intended only to create the impression that this was an abusive encounter. Nothing could be further from the truth. There was absolutely nothing aggressive about that encounter… This encounter, which she now falsely claims was an assault, was the beginning of our affair.”
NBC also released a statement about the excerpts from Catch and Kill, saying, “Matt Lauer’s conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible… That’s why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint.”
Catch and Kill also includes Farrow’s account of his investigation into Harvey Weinstein and his efforts to get that story on the air at NBC. Eventually, he took the story to The New Yorker magazine to get it published. That story led to more women coming forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, which in turn led to a broader criminal investigation that ultimately resulted in Weinstein’s arrest on criminal sexual assault charges.
Ronan Farrow will appear on ABC’s Good Morning America Friday morning for an exclusive interview.
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