What Went on at NBC After the Matt Lauer Rape Accusation Dropped

Staffers reportedly want answers in the wake of Brooke Nevils' detailed accusations

noah oppenheim matt Lauer
Oppenheim is taking heat at NBC following new break in Matt Lauer scandal
Leigh Vogel/Getty Images
By Kayla Kibbe / October 10, 2019 3:19 pm

NBC news chief Noah Oppenheim is reportedly taking some heat following yesterday’s revelation of new details surrounding Brooke Nevils’ accusations against alleged rapist and former NBC host Matt Lauer. According to Page Six, a Thursday morning editorial meeting got “heated” when senior staffers “attacked” Oppenheim, demanding to know the extent of his prior knowledge regarding Nevils’ complaint against Lauer.

Page Six reported an NBC staffer pressed Oppenheim on whether Nevils, who claims Lauer raped her in his hotel room while the two were covering the Sochi Olympics in 2014, used the word “assault” when she first reported Lauer to NBC’s HR department in 2017.

Oppenheim reportedly dodged the question, citing Nevils’ right to privacy. A source quoted Oppenheim as saying he would never breach Nevils’ confidentiality. “The whole point of that is so she can tell her story whenever, however she chooses to and she is doing so now,” said Oppenheim, according to a source for Page Six.

While a network source reportedly denied rumors of any heated interactions, calling the meeting “orderly,” another source said it was “very contentious,” adding that “people want answers. People are demanding answers.”

Oppenheim reportedly opened the meeting with an invitation to ask questions, telling the team, “I want to literally beg you to please ask them.”

NBC has reportedly been bracing itself for the anticipated fallout from Ronan Farrow’s forthcoming book about his reporting of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators. The details surrounding the sexual assault allegation that led to Lauer’s 2017 firing sparked the first of many anticipated controversies for the network yesterday, when Variety reported on Nevils’ interview with Farrow ahead of the book’s October 15 release.

In the book, Nevils goes into graphic detail about her encounter with Lauer in Sochi, publicly revealing previously undisclosed details about the assault for the first time.

Lauer denied the allegations in a statement released yesterday, which has subsequently been slammed by Nevils and her supporters as a textbook example of victim-blaming.

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