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tv   Nightline  ABC  October 10, 2019 12:37am-1:06am PDT

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paul. apologies to matt damon. "nightline" is next. this is "nightline." tonight, silent no more. matt lauer, the former "today" show anchor, firing back after new shocking claims of sexual assault. >> there are not allegations of affair, allegations of crime. >> allegations from a former nbc producer in a new book by ronan farrow,g lauer of rape. inside the graphic account of he said, she said, and why the former star is speaking out. plus the melting mountain. on the front often speak of cli change as taking our world. but the changes are happening much closer to home. >> glaciers disappearing at a rapid rate and what that means
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for us. how this cliffhanger ends if we do nothing. but first the "nightline 5." the way you make life magical. the way you step up your style with new fall arrivals. the way you light up every place you go. that's something to love. fall for you at jcpenney. so nice to meet you. june, jane, ji, tei, raj, and ray. >> good job, brain. say hello to neuriva. clinically proven ingredients that fuel five proven indicator of brain perf
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good evening. thanks for joining us. i'm linsey davis. shocking new claims of sexual assault once again shining a spotlight on matt lauer.
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a former news anchor whose public downfall nearly two years ago sent shock waves. now the disturbing allegation and the emotional reactions. >> it's just very painful for all of us at nbc and the "today" show and, you know -- it's very, very, very difficult. >> i'm looking at you and i'm having a weird moment that we were sitting here just likeago. >> reporter: this morning, "today" show anchor savannah guthrie and hoda kotb visually emotional, grappling with new explosive allegations that former "today" show host matt lauer raped a former nbc news colleague at the 2014 sochi olympics. >> you know, this is shocking and appalling and -- i honestly don't even know what to say about it. it's not easy now, and we support her, and any women who have come forward with claims. >> truth be told, savannah and i did a little prayer upstairs to
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sort out what we were going to do, and i think it's -- it's like you feel likenomeeor 12 ye all of a sudden like a door opens up and it's a part of them you didn't know. we don't know all the facts in all of this, but there are not allegations of an affair, there are allegations of a crime. >> reporter: the rape accusation detailed in excerpts that "variety" magazine published from the upcoming book "catch and kill." lauer is speaking out saying, my silence has been a mistake. in a letter provided to abc news lauer says, after not speaking out to protect my children, it is now with their full support i say, enough, saying that the accusation of rape is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense. the incident in question centers on one night five years ago during the sochi olympic games. brooke nevilles worked for nbc news. according to published excerpts, nevilles told pharaoh that lauer joined her for drinks and she
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ended up going back to lauer's room twice, once to retrieve her press credential, and another because he invited her back to the room. neville says lauer, who was wearing a t-shirt and boxers, pushed her against the door and kissed her, then pushed her onto the bed. according to excerpts from the book, lauer asked her if she wanted to have anal sex, she said no, but he just did it. it hurt so bad, is this normal? she told pharaoh it was noncons sensual in the sense that i was too drunk to consent, i said multiple times i didn't want to have anal sex, she ultimately stopped saying no and cried quietly into the pillow. according to the excerpts neville told pharaoh back in new york she went on to have more sexual encounters with lauer and reportedly initiated some of their contact. lauer is strenuously denying the allegations writing his relationship with nevilles was a fully consensual extramarital affair. it began when she came to my hotel late one night in sochi.
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we engaged in a variety of sexual acts. we performed oral sex on each other, vaginal sex, anal sex. each act was mutual and completely cons sensual. he adds, after we returned to new york we both communicated by text and phone, met for drinks, she met me at my apartment to continue our affair. our meetings were arranged mutually. at no time during or after her multiple visits to my apartment did she express in words or actions any discomfort with being there or with our affair. >> why would a woman who says she was raped continue to have sexual encounters or relationship with the perpetrator? >> most rapes happen between people who know each other, and very often in the context of a relationship. so it's not unusual for somebody to have a situation where they've been assaulted and where they continue to have some kind of relationship with the person. >> the idea that they continue to have a consensual sexual relationship after this initial
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encounter, you wouldn't say that negates rape? >> absolutely not. absolutely not. >> reporter: according to "variety," pharaoh says nil nbc uiled.ei urgt d lar' firing a day h late as be terminated from nbc news. >> this is a very tough morning for both of us. >> reporter: the next day, lauer released a statement that was read on air. >> just moments ago received a statement from matt, and let me read it to you. there are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain i have caused others by words and actions. to the people i have hurt i am truly sorry. >> reporter: in 2018, nevilles went on medical leave and was eventually paid seven figures by nbc, according to farrow. >> legally, settlements usually do not carry a statement of fault or guilt.
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they just say, we're paying you for a promise not to sue >> reporter: nbc responded to "variety's" report in a atement saying matt reprehensi 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. >> i can't convict him, i can't decide what happened that night or what happened in subsequent encounters that they had. but i would say that the case against matt lauer doesn't look any better today than it did yesterday. and that letter, in my opinion, did not do him any favors. >> reporter: no charges were ever filed. >> i would be shocked if this accusation wound up in a criminal court, because the core accusation is alleged to have happened in russia. it would be tough, at least in my opinion, to try to make this into a criminal case. >> reporter: farrow, who won a pulitzer for his investigative reporting on the harvey weinstein allegations, talked to "nightline" back in 2017. >> this is the hardest topic in
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the world for anyone to talk about. it's the last thing any of these women want to open up again. >> reporter: after lauer was fired, "the new york times" reported on two more women's allegations. one telling the paper lauer summoned her to his office in 2001 during a workday, locked the door, and allegedly had sex. the woman says she didn't report heaye tn her t unbutton her blouse, which she did. she says he then came around from his desk, pulled down her pants, and had sex with her. she says she does bear some of the responsibility for what happened, but she felt like he was kind of using his power over her. >> reporter: lauer's former cohost, ann curry, tweeted in support of nevilles calling her a credible young woman of good character, adding that she believes her. is it possible that two people could perceive a sexual encounter differently, that he might walk away and think it was
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consensual, she may walk away and feel raped? >> absolutely, i think that happens quite often. it's part of our conditioning that many men feel entitled to behave towards women as if they are objects, and they may not even realize or be aware that that's what they're doing. and that could leave them with very different understandings of what happens. >> reporter: it had been a stunning fall from grace for matt lauer. after his firing, his wife divorced him. selling his $44 million hamptons home. went almost totally dark on social media, reappearing this week on the social media site tick-tock dancing with his daughter. ♪ shut up heather sorry heather look wlooth with her ♪ >> reporter: lauer had been like america's dad, the man that america woke up in the mornings to see, known for his travels around the world. >> where in the world is matt lauer? >> reporter: and his contentious interviews, like this one with tom cruise back in 2005. >> aren't there examples where
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it work in this. >> matt, matt, matt. you't even -- you're glib. >> reporter: 2016 presidential candidates. >> they wonder about your temperament. >> a very special monday morning for our friend, matt lauer -- >> reporter: from that first "today" show episode more than 20 years ago, lauer quickly rose to stardom, becoming one of the highest-paid television news anchors in history. >> he was in a lot of folks' houses every morning. matt lauer was the face of the "today" show brand in so many ways. >> reporter: now lauer joins the ranks of disgraced media titans. charlie rose. roger ailes. bill o'reilly. harvey weinstein. mark halperin, once the political director here at abc. >> "me too" wasn't moment, it's a movement. it is a culture shift. it's happening. women of all creeds and colors and back grounds, they're like, wait, it's not supposed to be this way, i should be able to just go to work and i want my daughter to be able to just go
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to work and i want my younger sisters to be able to just go to work. >> reporter: lauer, once contrite, is combative, determined to recast what's left of his public image. he writes in his letter, i admit i ended the affair poorly, i simply stopped communicating with her. i understand how that must have made her feel. however, being upset or having second thoughts does not give anyone the right to make false accusations years later about an affair in which they fully and willingly participated. meanwhile, tonight nevilles provided a statement to nbc news saying that his open letter was a case study in victim blaming. i'm not afraid of him now. also tweeting her thanks to the survivors that offered her support. a programming note, journalist ronan farrow joins "gma" this morning for a sit-down interview. up next, climate change. fueling the ticking time bomb 10,000 feet above sea level.
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the climate change warning clear as day on the slopes of mount blanc. one of the world's most iconic mountain ranges and also the battleground where rising temperatures are meeting vulnerable glaciers. here's abc's james longman with the race against time to protect a melting landscape. >> the highest peak to the right is the very top of mount blanc. >> reporter: it's the highest mountain in western europe, spanning three countries, mount bl
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we travel by helicopter to reach mount blanc's glacier, about 10,000 feet up. remarkable up here. you do get a sense of just how much is changing and how fast. these deep cracks represent our planet's latest climate change battleground. we often think of climate change as taking place on the outer reaches of our world, greenland, antarctica, islands in the indian ocean. but what's happening here on mount blanc shows that the changes are happening much closer to home. the glacier on the italian side of the mountain is breaking apart significantly faster than expected and could collapse at any moment, sending ice crashing into the town below. how fast is too fast, if you like? because all glaciers move. >> of course. >> but this glacier is moving quicker? >> enormous speed for this glaci glacier. would be about 10 centimeters
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te per day. right now peaks at 1 meter per day so 10 times. >> it's 10 times as fast as it should be? >> yeah, yeah. >> reporter: why? a warming climate, say scientists. 66 million gallons at risk of collapse. that's about 100 frozen olympic swimming pools. this scientist monitors and studies the changing glaciers in the region. so this is it? this is where you do your work? he took us to his office in the outskirts of the area which sits directly underneath the glacier we flew over. >> right now the different scenarios say the glacier will disappear under 3,500 meters. which means the alps will have just maybe one-third or less of the glaciers that they have today. >> you could lose two-thirds of the glaciers? >> almost images of how a nearby glacier has changed over the past decade. >> 2004, there's still quite a lot of ice coming down and
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coming down in this flat area. but if we go to 2017, in just a few years, all this ice has disappeared and gone back up here in the rocks. a small bit of ice. the change is really drastic. >> reporter: he warns if we don't continue to make change, it could get much worse. >> we are working and will work more and more to let people know about the effects of climate change. if everybody will do this around the world, it would be a good point to start. >> reporter: the falling ice from mount blanc, a dangerous hazard. water supplies for millions drying up. livelihoods in the balance. this danger zone now evacuated. a main road closed. people here insist life will go on. their experience is not isolated, it's one of many melting glaciers around the world. earlier this year i traveled to antarctic ka, ground zero for
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climate change. >> we have 12 years to fight the impacts of climate change. we have to act now. >> reporter: the frozen continent too harsh for humans struggling to cope with a human-altered climate. >> good morning. welcome to antarctica. >> reporter: across the peninsula the ice season has shortened by more than three months over the last 40 years, and 87% of the glaciers here are receding. it's not just glaciers. the animals threatened as well. >> today we're going to look for humpback whales, minke whales. we want to biopsy and fly our drone over them to look at body condition and size. >> yeah, i see it, yeah, right there. it's up now. >> reporter: these marine biologists have come from all over the united states to antarctica to study the pressures facing the humpback and minke whale populations. biopsy samples are taken using a cross bow. >> this is the tip that will collect the skin and blubber
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sample from the whale. it will penetrate an inch, inch and a half into the whale and get some skin and blubber. >> this first sample we took for pollutant analysis. this sample can't go into the plastic sterile baggies because one of the contaminants we're looking for is plastic contaminants. >> reporter: contaminants have made their way into the whales' bodies, tendrils of man making their way into the seemingly pristine waters of antarctica. we're presenting issueses of life and death and they are often really serious. being here, learning about the science, you get the sense this really is life or death. for all of us. even sysre it.a to the markef w >> reporter: a striking reminder of what's at stake.
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finally tonight, the little boy and his world-changing affirmation. >> i am smart. i am blessed. i can do anything. >> 3-year-old aion brielle is starting off his day with pep in his step. his mom alisa teaching this toddler the three-sentence afirm medication more than a year ago. >> ready? say, i am smart. >> i am smart. >> smart. >> i am blessed. >> blessed. >> i can do anything. >> anything. >> remembering that lesson to this day. >> i can do anything! >> that's "nightline." you can catch our full episodes on hulu. thanks so much for the company, america. good night.
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