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2019-10-09 16:36:21

Hannah Yasharoff USA TODAY

Published 9:43 AM EDT Oct 9, 2019

In a somber segment Wednesday morning on the Today show, co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb addressed a new report that details rape allegations against former Today  anchor Matt Lauer, expressing to viewers NBC staff members are  disturbed to our core and working to process the latest revelations. 

Variety reported late Tuesday night that Ronan Farrow's Oct. 15 book Catch and Kill reveals new information about what led to Lauer getting fired from Today in November 2017, including allegations from Brooke Nevils, the previously unnamed former NBC News employee who initially complained about him, that he raped her at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. 

I feel like we owe it to our viewers to pause for a moment, Guthrie said, noticeably emotional. This is shocking and appalling. I honestly don't even know what to say about it. I want to say 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. And it's just very painful for all of us at NBC and who are at the Today show. It's very, very, very difficult.

USA TODAY has reached out to Lauer's representative for further comment. 

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Guthrie announced at the top of the Today show on Nov. 29, 2017 that Lauer, an NBC morning anchor since 1997, had been fired over sexual harassment allegations. On Wednesday, co-host Hoda Kotb, who has since permanently replaced Lauer, noticed striking similarities between their latest broadcast and the one they faced nearly two years ago.

I'm looking at you and having a weird moment: we were sitting here just like this two years ago, she told Guthrie.  Truth be told, Savannah and I did a little prayer upstairs before just to sort of sort out what we were going to do. I think you feel like you've known someone for 12 years. I don't know if you guys have ever felt like that. You know someone, you feel like you know them inside and out and then all of a sudden, a door opens up and it's a part of them you didn't know.

Kotb continued: We don't know all the facts on all of this, but there are not allegations of an affair, there are allegations of a crime. I think that's shocking to all of us here who have sat with Matt for many, many years. So I think we're going to just sort of continue to process this part of this horrific story and as you said, our thoughts are with Brooke. It's not easy what she did, to come forward. It's not easy at all.

A representative for NBC referred USA TODAY to the statement provided to Today on behalf of NBC News:  Matt Lauer's conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time. That's why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague.  

NBC News chairman Andy Lack added: Our highest priority is to ensure we have a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected. We are absolutely committed to making this a reality – there can be no exception.


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