Lauer, who was famously and abruptly fired by NBC in November 2017 following claims of inappropriate sexual behavior, is now alleged to have anally raped former NBC News staffer Brooke Nevils when they were both in Sochi covering the 2014 Winter Olympics. (Lauer has issued a statement denying the allegation.) According to Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill, Nevils eventually took her allegations to human resources, but they were characterized as being neither “criminal” nor “assault.” Soon after, her “work life became torture.” She eventually took medical leave and a payment in the “seven figures.”
“I feel like we owe it to our viewers to pause for a moment,” Savannah Guthrie said during this morning’s Today broadcast. “This is shocking and appalling, and I honestly don’t even know what to say about it. I want to say that I know it wasn’t easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then, it’s not easy now, and we support her and any women who have come forward with claims… It’s just very painful for all of us at NBC and who are at the Today show, and, you know, it’s very, very, very difficult.”
Co-anchor Hoda Kotb then turned to Guthrie and added, “I’m looking at you and I’m having a weird moment… We were sitting here just like this two years ago, and truth be told, Savannah and I did a little prayer upstairs just before, just to sort out what we were going to do, and I think it’s— it’s like you feel like you’ve known someone for 12 years — and I don’t know if you guys have ever felt like that — you know someone, you feel like you know them inside and out and then all of a sudden, like, a door opens up and it’s a part of them you didn’t know.
“We don’t know all the facts in all of this, but they’re not allegations of an affair, they’re allegations of a crime, and I think that’s shocking to all of us here who have sat with Matt for many, many years,” Kotb continued. “I think we’re going to continue to process this part of this horrific story. And as you said, our thoughts are with Brooke. It’s not easy what she did to come forward. It’s not easy at all.”
In closing, Guthrie said, “We’re disturbed to our core… We have a commitment to keep you informed, and we will continue to do that.”
Watch Today‘s full report by NBC News’ Morgan Radford, followed by Guthrie and Kotb’s statements below.