Ronan Farrow is standing by his story.
In his first TV interview for his book Catch and Kill, the investigative reporter and author was grilled on Good Morning America about his reporting of the Matt Lauer rape allegation. He insisted that the book was “extensively fact-checked” and pointed to a “paper trail” in it allegedly showing “settlement agreements” made with other Lauer accusers “years before” he was fired in 2017 for inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.
George Stephanopoulos led with the denials made by both Lauer and NBC News about the allegations in the book, including former NBC News producer Brooke Nevils’s claim that Lauer raped at the 2014 Sochi Olympics as well as that the news organization covered up misconduct.
“The facts of [Nevils’s] case, which are backed by documentation and eyewitnesses, suggest there was an encounter here that she consistency has described as nonconsensual,” Farrow replied. “And she says that regardless of what happened before and after that” — Lauer and Nevils have both said they had a sexual relationship after the alleged rape —“she said, ‘No’ to a physical act.”
He went on to say he “extensively fact-checked” Nevils’s claims — “as with everything in this book.”
Farrow was also asked whether Nevils or her attorney use the words “rape” or “sexual assault” when they went to NBC in 2017. Farrow replied, "She unambiguously described a rape or a sexual assault. Like many trauma victims, she was not ready to use those words. So her attorney did what is done very often in criminal investigations, in cases like this where someone complains at a company: asked a clear series of questions that elicited answers that, without any doubt, said this is non-consensual and even stopped the proceedings to saying, 'This is non-consensual, we want to be clear.’”
And while NBC has claimed not to have prior knowledge of Lauer’s misconduct in the workplace — i.e., before Nevils reporting him to HR and Lauer losing his job 24 hours later — Farrow said, “This is an important part: This is not what the reporting of the book suggests. We spend several years reporting this out, extensively fact-checking. 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 News.”
Farrow went on to claim that “years before” Lauer was fired — “over a period of six to seven years” — there were seven non-disclosure agreements, multiple ones of those were with Matt Lauer accusers. This is years before this incident with Brooke Nevils and the firing.”
He added, “I spoke to senior executives [at NBC] who were told about those earlier incidents” with Lauer.
Farrow said that, “based on the evidence in this book,” it’s “indisputable “that there was a chain of secret settlements at this company that were covered up with victims of harassment and assault. Some of them about Lauer, some of them about others in the company. This was a pattern. It was concealed from journalists there.”
Farrow also spoke about NBC shutting down his original Harvey Weinstein exposé — suggesting Weinstein was blackmailing NBC News.
Lauer denied the rape allegation and slammed the book in an open letter this week. He said, “Old stories are being recycled, titillating details are being added, and a dangerous and defamatory new allegation is being made. All are being spread as part of a promotional effort to sell a book. It’s outrageous.”
NBC News head Andy Lack also blasted the book, saying it was “absolutely false and offensive” to suggest the company was protecting Lauer or Weinstein. NBC has not yet responded to requests for comment on Farrow’s latest cover-up allegations.
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