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Matt Lauer accuser Addie Zinone slams his ‘attempts to slut-shame and rewrite history’

Addie Zinone – who opened up in 2017 about her own extramarital affair with Lauer – slammed Matt Lauer’s open letter 

A former Today show assistant who admitted to a month-long sexual relationship with Matt Lauer is slamming the disgraced former host for denying the anal rape allegations made against him by another NBC employee. 

On Wednesday, Lauer released a statement denying the claims he anally raped NBC producer Brooke Nevils, saying their relationship was consensual. 

Addie Zinone  – who opened up in 2017 about her own extramarital affair with Lauer in July 2000 – came to Nevils’ defense Wednesday, saying: ‘I was deeply shocked and saddened by Matt Lauer’s letter yesterday in response to Brooke’s allegations of sexual assault.’

Zinone said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight: ‘Mr. Lauer’s attempts to slut-shame and rewrite history will not work.

‘The seeming lack of contrition, misstatements, and threatening tone is an attempt to manipulate and control the narrative for his own gain.

‘He is determined to undermine and tarnish the reputation of the brave women who courageously come forward.

 ‘This is precisely why so many don’t.’

Zinone opened up to the public about her July 2000 extramarital affair with Lauer when she was a 24-year-old intern-turned PA, while he was the 42-year-old face of NBC

Zinone opened up to the public about her July 2000 extramarital affair with Lauer when she was a 24-year-old intern-turned PA, while he was the 42-year-old face of NBC

Lauer responded to Nevil's claims of anal rape in an angry 1,400 letter saying it was a consensual incident which sparked their affair

Lauer responded to Nevil’s claims of anal rape in an angry 1,400 letter saying it was a consensual incident which sparked their affair

In Zinone’s statement, she pulled a paragraph from Lauer’s 1,400-word letter that she said was ‘particularly triggering for me and so many other’. 

Brooke Nevils

Brooke Nevils agreed to be named in Ronan Farrow’s new book where she tells how Matt Lauer ‘anally raped’ her in 2014 while they were working for NBC to cover the Sochi Winter Olympics. Lauer is shown, right, at the Games 

That paragraph from Lauer’s letter reads: ‘Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a very private person. I had no desire to write this, but I had no choice. The details I have written about here open deep wounds for my family. But they also lead to the truth. For two years, the women with whom I had extramarital relationships have abandoned shared responsibility, and instead, shielded themselves from blame behind false allegations. They have avoided having to look a boyfriend, husband, or a child in the eye and say, ”I cheated.” They have done enormous damage in the process. And I will no longer provide them the shelter of my silence.’

To that Zinone said: ‘Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a very private person.’ 

Zinone continued: ‘I had no desire to come out of the shadows from the pain his abuse of power inflicted on me in NBC’s newsroom. I never had, nor do I have, anything to gain in telling my truth. In fact, I have everything to lose, but when I realized I was not alone, I was willing to lift the veil on that time to validate the accusations of others. I felt it was the right thing to do.’

In December 2017, Zinone opened up to the public about her extramarital affair with Lauer in July 2000 when she sought career advice from him at a lunch meeting that ultimately led to his quest to lure her in for sex. 

She was a 24-year-old intern-turned PA, while he was the 42-year-old face of NBC.  

‘Even though my situation with Matt was consensual, I ultimately felt like a victim because of the power dynamic,’ she said at the time. ‘He went after the most vulnerable and the least powerful – and those were the production assistants and the interns.’

Read Addie Zinone’s full statment 

Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a very private person. I had no desire to come out of the shadows from the pain his abuse of power inflicted on me in NBC’s newsroom. I never had, nor do I have, anything to gain in telling my truth. In fact, I have everything to lose, but when I realized I was not alone, I was willing to lift the veil on that time to validate the accusations of others. I felt it was the right thing to do.

I already lived with reporters from the National Enquirer hounding me over the years; I was not going to give them that power again. No one wants to be known for these issues, but after this story broke in Nov 2017, I decided I would no longer provide him the safety of my 17 years of silence, no matter the personal cost (which has been great, evidenced by every comment section under stories of my experience with him). Please do not confuse my willingness to speak up, however, with fearlessness. I’m petrified and humiliated that the world knows the intimate details of this experience.

That said, here are the facts: I was a single 24-year-old intern-turned-production assistant; he was a married 42-year-old man, the most powerful and successful man at NBC, arguably in all of journalism. The trajectory of my life and career changed drastically as a result of this experience. I have never given false allegations when it comes to this story. To suggest I haven’t been honest is a deflection, meant to ruin my credibility and reputation. I did look my (now) husband in the eyes and tell him about my participation in what happened all those years ago, and they have been horrible, guilt-ridden conversations. My children had to find out about it when they Googled my name and found words like “slut” and “whore” instead of the philanthropy and military service I proudly pursued in 2002 in addition to my journalism career. Mr. Lauer’s attempts to slut-shame and rewrite history will not work. It is troubling he has no understanding of, or empathy for, the pain he has inflicted with his brazen and predatory abuse of power on young, vulnerable women who had no voice. But now we do. I have always admitted my part in this – I deeply wish I had been stronger – but he knows it should not have happened. It was wrong – full stop. It cost him his career; his reputation. He will live with that forever. To be sure, so will we. Journalists are tasked with exposing this behavior, not perpetuating it. Power corrupts and he is not immune.

I am thankful for the opportunity to move the conversation forward and uncover the truth with assistance from courageous journalists like Ronan Farrow. We rise above our individual experiences and focus on the need to create systemic change through education, training, dialogue and helping the most vulnerable, so that what I experienced, no one will ever have to again.

In 2017, Nevils reported Lauer for allegedly sexually assaulting her one night during the Olympics and it was her allegation that led to him being fired. 

Nevils was in Russia for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics with Lauer and Meredith Vieira where she claims he anally raped her. 

It was reported at the time but now Nevils has agreed to be named and is speaking on the record to share more details of the alleged rape in Ronan Farrow’s new book, Catch and Kill. 

She claimed that Lauer – who was married at the time – pushed her onto a bed and had anal sex with her despite her telling him she did not want to after a night of drinking in Sochi. 

She said they were in his hotel room and he was wearing boxers and a t-shirt. Among other things, she said she ‘wept silently into a pillow’ while he had sex with her and that it ‘hurt’. 

Brooke Nevils released a statement Wednesday night slamming Matt Lauer for 'victim shaming' her after she claimed he anally raped her

Brooke Nevils released a statement Wednesday night slamming Matt Lauer for ‘victim shaming’ her after she claimed he anally raped her 

Lauer hit back in a three-page, 1,400 word response on Wednesday, saying that while they did have anal sex, it was consensual. He went into graphic detail about the Sochi incident and described others – including having sex in his Today dressing room – and called Nevils a ‘willing partner’.  

To his letter, Nevils released a statement of her own, saying: ‘There’s a Matt Lauer that millions of Americans watched on TV every morning for two decades. And there is the Matt Lauer who this morning attempted to bully a former colleague into silence,’ the statement reads. 

‘His open letter was a case study in victim blaming. 

‘I am not afraid of him now regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would and now has tried to use against me.’ 

She added that she provided ‘dates, times, evidence of communications and corroborating accounts’ which ‘both NBC and Farrow found credible’. 

‘I continued to engage with him, as many victims of acquaintance rape do, particularly in the work place.

‘The shame in this story belongs to him,’ Nevils said. 

Lauer released a three page, 1,400 word letter on Wednesday to defend himself

Lauer released a three page, 1,400 word letter on Wednesday to defend himself

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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