Brooke Nevils, the former NBC producer who publicly accused NBC host Matt Lauer of rape, is hitting back at the former news anchor's defense of her allegations, calling it a "case study in victim shaming."
What's a quick background?
In 2014, a then-unidentified woman came forward and complained that Lauer raped her while they were covering the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. A disgraced Lauer ended up losing his job at NBC and dropped nearly entirely from the public eye.
Journalist Ronan Farrow's forthcoming book, however — "Catch and Kill" — resurrected the Lauer story by putting a name to his accuser: Nevils.
In Farrow's book, Nevils says that Lauer anally raped her during the Sochi incident, but she went on to carry out a full-fledged sexual relationship with Lauer afterward.
For the first time since the incident, Lauer broke his silence on Nevils' accusations and his subsequent firing, and, in a very lengthy and firm statement, called the ex-producer's claims bogus and insisted that the relationship between the two was consensual in every way.
Lauer's letter also indicated that Nevils played the role of a jilted lover after he stopped seeing her and engaging in a sexual relationship with her.
He concluded his letter, which you can read in its entirety here, "I have never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period."
What is Nevils saying now?
In a statement that aired Wednesday night on NBC News, Nevils said that she is no longer going to fall victim to Lauer's "predatory tactics" and expressed her disappointment in his response to her book interview.
"I am not afraid of him now, regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming of his predatory tactics," Nevils said, insisting that his open letter was a "case study in victim blaming."
The statement added, "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."
On Twitter, Nevils thanked those people who have supported and believed her through the ordeal.
"I want to thank the many survivors who shared their stories with me today and offered their support," she wrote. "It takes courage, and I am truly grateful."
I want to thank the many survivors who shared their stories with me today and offered their support. It takes coura… https://t.co/tdPoJe2LuV— Brooke Nevils (@Brooke Nevils) 1570662529.0
NBC News Chairman Andy Lack expressed his support for Nevils in an internal memo to NBC staff obtained by People.
“First, and most importantly, in reading today's news our hearts go out to our former colleague. Matt Lauer's conduct in 2014 was appalling and reprehensible — and of course we said so at the time," Lack wrote.
“The first moment we learned of it was the night of November 27, 2017, and he was fired in 24 hours," he continued. "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."
Lack insisted that the company's legal team executed an "exhaustive investigation of available records and conducted dozens of interviews of past and present staff."
"They uncovered no claims or settlements associated with allegations of inappropriate conduct by Lauer before he was fired," the memo added.
The chairman also pointed out that the company has undergone change since Lauer's 2017 departure.
“We've required all NBC News employees to complete in-person workplace behavior trainings and we've significantly increased awareness of the ways employees report concerns — anonymously or otherwise," Lack said.