- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 9, 2019

“Today” show hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on Wednesday reacted to new rape allegations against their former colleague, Matt Lauer, saying they are “disturbed” and “appalled” by the recent developments.

Mr. Lauer has been accused of raping former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils in his hotel room while working at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Ms. Nevils, whose complaint about Mr. Lauer led to his firing in 2017, went public for the first time in Ronan Farrow’s forthcoming book, “Catch and Kill.”

“This is shocking and appalling and I honestly don’t even know what to say about it,” Ms. Guthrie said during the NBC morning show. “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 at the Today show. It’s very, very, very difficult.”

“You feel like you’ve known someone for 12 years,” Ms. Kotb said, “and then all of a sudden, 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,” she said. “I think that’s shocking to all of us here who’ve sat with Matt for many, many years. So, I think we’re gonna just continue to process this part of this horrific story. And, as [Savannah] said, our thoughts are with Brooke. It’s not easy what she did to come forward.”

Ms. Guthrie added, “I think I speak for all of us: We’re disturbed to our core. And we have a commitment to keep you informed and we’ll continue to do that.”

Mr. Lauer was fired in 2017 after Ms. Nevils, who was then unnamed, reported Mr. Lauer for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” Multiple women, including fellow employees and subordinates, came forward to accuse the veteran news anchor of sexual misconduct.

Mr. Lauer responded to the most recent allegation in a letter obtained by Variety on Wednesday, writing, “In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault. It is categorically false, ignores the facts and defies common sense. I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014.”

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