Ronan Farrow: There's a 'paper trail' of 'multiple secret settlements' with women at NBC News

Author Ronan Farrow in an interview Friday with ABC News said he has seen a paper trail of documents that show "multiple secret settlements and non-disclosures" were struck by NBC News with women making sexual misconduct allegations against former "Today" anchor Matt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd LauerRonan Farrow exposes how the media protect the powerful Ronan Farrow: There's a 'paper trail' of 'multiple secret settlements' with women at NBC News Krystal Ball: Lauer rape allegations represent 'ugly underbelly' of news outlets MORE.

Farrow's new book, "Catch and Kill," documents the Lauer case and has already made news by reporting on new allegations from one NBC News employee who alleges the former "Today" anchor raped her in a hotel room at the Sochi Olympics. Lauer has firmly denied the allegations, saying it was a consensual affair.

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The book is already at No. 1 on Amazon's best-seller list. Farrow has said in interviews that it describes a troubled culture at NBC.

"What we show in this book, with a paper trail, with documents, was that there were multiple secret settlements and non-disclosures being struck with women at NBC News," Farrow told "Good Morning America" on Friday.

NBC News President Andy Lack said in a memo to staff this week that after Lauer's firing, the network's legal team did "an exhaustive investigation" of records and interviews of current and former staff.

"They uncovered no claims or settlements associated with allegations of inappropriate conduct by Lauer before he was fired," Lack wrote. "Only following his termination did NBCU reach agreements with two women who had come forward for the very first time, and those women have always been free to share their stories about Lauer with anyone they choose." 

An NBC spokesperson also said the network had done an exhaustive search of records.

"The first time we learned about Matt Lauer's sexual misconduct in the workplace was the night of November 27, 2017 and he was fired in 24 hours," the spokesperson said. "Any suggestion that we knew prior to that evening, paid any 'hush money,' or tried to cover up any aspect of Lauer's appalling behavior is absolutely false." 

Farrow won a Pulitzer in 2018 for his reporting on allegations of sexual misconduct and rape against former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The 31-year-old originally had conducted his investigation for NBC News, but he says he was forced to take the story to The New Yorker after the network said the story hadn't passed its editorial standards. 

Lack has also pushed back at Farrow's assertion on how the story was handled.

“NBC News assigned the Harvey Weinstein story to Ronan, we completely supported it over many months with resources — both financial and editorial,” Lack wrote in the memo to staff. 

“After seven months, without one victim or witness on the record, he simply didn’t have a story that met our standard for broadcast nor that of any major news organization," Lack wrote.
 
"Not willing to accept that standard and not wanting to get beaten by the New York Times, he asked to take his story to an outlet he claimed was ready to publish right away. Reluctantly, we allowed him to go ahead. Fifty-three days later, and five days after the New York Times did indeed break the story, he published an article at the New Yorker that bore little resemblance to the reporting he had while at NBC News,” he adds. 
 
Farrow responded to Lack on "Good Morning America" Friday morning. 
 
“The point is that they ordered a hard stop to reporting,” Farrow said of NBC News brass. “They told me and a producer working on this that we should not take a single call, they told us to cancel interviews. The question for years has been why, because every journalist at that institution didn't understand why. And I think the book answers that question. This was a company with a lot of secrets.”