With Ronan Farrow's "Catch and Kill" finally out, more allegations are coming to light on Matt Lauer's alleged misconduct in the workplace during his time at the "Today" show.
As reported by Page Six, Farrow writes in his explosive new book that an unnamed on-air female personality for NBC rejected unwanted advances from Lauer, which resulted in her being "punished."
The woman, who signed a nondisclosure agreement when she exited NBC News in 2012, says that she "would walk into work with a knot in her stomach" because of the harassment she says she dealt with at work, which included Lauer and "another former senior executive" talking about her in a lewd manner on open mics on set.
"I was like a hanging piece of meat," she said, according to "Catch and Kill." "[I] would come home and cry."
When she refused to accept Lauer's advances, the on-air personality said that she "got punished."
"My career took a sharp nosedive," she claimed, before adding that she didn't file a formal complaint with HR because of the potential ramifications such an act could've had on her career. When she ultimately decided to leave the company, the woman told several fellow employees about the alleged harassment and then signed an exit agreement prohibiting her from talking badly about NBCUniversal or suing the company.
Noah Oppenheim, the president of NBC News who fired Matt Lauer less than 24 hours after fellow accuser Brooke Nevils filed a formal complaint against the former "Today" anchor in November 2017, vehemently denied the anonymous on-air personality's new claims about Lauer.
"Farrow says this individual received inappropriate messages from Lauer, and showed them to ‘colleagues,’ not management, made no report, and we’ve found no record of one," he said in a staff memo released on Monday. "She signed a completely standard separation agreement, including a routine confidentiality provision that was in her original employment contract. Again, that provision was designed to protect proprietary company information, not prevent an employee from reporting misconduct, nor has it ever been used that way."
In another alleged incident detailed in "Catch and Kill," "Today" show producer Melissa Lonner was subject to Lauer's alleged unwanted advances. Though Lonner herself declined to comment for the book, Farrow claims that Lauer exposed himself to her inside his office after a cocktail party at 30 Rock, where "Today" films.
"He joked about how much he disliked work cocktail parties like the one they’d just attended," Farrow says in his book. "Then, she told the colleagues, he unzipped his pants and exposed his erect penis."
After Lonner reportedly rejected Lauer, he lashed out at her, calling her a "f--king tease."
The producer then allegedly confided in on-air co-host Ann Curry, who says she told two senior executives about the incident, though nothing came of the second-hand complaint in the form of a punishment of any sort.
Oppenheim also slammed this story, saying that "the time of the employee’s exit, three years later, she still had made no complaint about Lauer, was paid 22 weeks of severance based on her years of service and was asked to sign a separation agreement that was standard for departing employees at the time."
"The standard separation agreement included a routine confidentiality clause that was designed to protect proprietary company information," he went on. "It was not drafted to prevent an employee from reporting misconduct, and it has never been used that way."
However, "Lonner’s understanding was that the primary intention of the payout was to prevent her from talking to the press," Farrow writes in his book, per People.
Farrow also details Nevils' rape allegation against Lauer in "Catch and Kill," which was released on October 15. The former assistant to Meredith Vieira claims that Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, despite her verbally expressing the fact that she didn't want to sleep with him.
While Lauer admitted that he engaged in an "extramarital" affair with Nevils, he said that it was "consensual."