Making moves? Matt Lauer is planning to jump back into the spotlight in the wake of his controversial op-ed regarding past allegations of sexual misconduct, a source exclusively reveals in the latest issue of Us Weekly.
“Matt’s talking about doing a big TV interview,” the insider adds, noting that the former Today host, 62, is hoping to speak on the air sooner rather than later. Another source explains that the longtime news anchor’s friends are “trying to convince him to record the interview himself so he has edit control.”
Lauer was fired from NBC in November 2017 after a female colleague accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior when the network was covering the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, three years earlier. More details about the alleged assault emerged in late 2019 when journalist Ronan Farrow published his latest work, Catch and Kill, and spoke at length with Lauer’s accuser, Brooke Nevils. Lauer, who vehemently denied the allegations last fall, recently defended himself once more in a scathing takedown of the 32-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner.
“On October 9, 2019, I was falsely accused of rape,” the former broadcast journalist wrote in a lengthy blog post on Mediaite in May. “This accusation was one of the worst and most consequential things to ever happen in my life, it was devastating for my family, and outrageously it was used to sell books.”
Lauer explained that the interactions he had with Nevils, 35, were “consensual, yet inappropriate,” and admitted he felt “shaken, but not surprised” that his former colleagues weren’t willing to stand by his side amid the scandal.
“The rush to judgment was swift. In fact, on the morning I was falsely accused of rape, and before I could even issue a statement, some journalists were already calling my accuser ‘brave’ and ‘courageous,'” Lauer wrote. “I was also disappointed, but not surprised, that Ronan Farrow’s overall reporting faced so little scrutiny.”
After Lauer alleged that Farrow’s work was “too good to be true,” the New York writer quickly shut down criticism of his reporting. “All I’ll say on this is that Matt Lauer is just wrong. Catch and Kill was thoroughly reported and fact-checked, including with Matt Lauer himself,” Farrow tweeted in May. Nevils also responded to Lauer’s op-ed, tweeting, “DARVO: Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender.”
Lauer didn’t waste time criticizing Farrow for his involvement in amplifying the scandal, but a source previously revealed that he “was especially upset” with former coanchor Savannah Guthrie. “From the second the story came out, he feels Savannah jumped on the opportunity to bury him. It’s a betrayal in Matt’s eyes,” the insider said. Lauer also felt that Hoda Kotb “should have been supportive” in the wake of the allegations — but she “took his job and never looked back.”
While the former NBC reporter plans to take his story public, an insider tells Us that speaking out during the coronavirus pandemic could play in Lauer’s favor. “Given the timing of the pandemic and [the fact there’d be] no studio audience, it could be a less hostile venue,” the source says.
For more on Lauer’s journey back to the spotlight, watch the video above and pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.
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