Published Nov 30, 2017Yesterday (November 29), we learned that longtime Today co-anchor Matt Lauer had been fired by NBC for "inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace." NBC News chairman Andrew Lack noted that only one complaint had been made, but said "we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."
Now, several other women have come forward to make similar accusations against the former morning show host. In addition to the initial inappropriate behaviour (which reportedly happened during coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics), NBC said that two more women have reported complaints. One of those women told the New York Times that Lauer sexually assaulted her in his office in 2001.
Three anonymous women, meanwhile, spoke to Variety for an investigation into Lauer's pattern of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Amongst their stories were descriptions of incidents in which Lauer presented a co-worker with a sex toy and a note explaining how he wanted to use it on her, exposed his genitals to a female co-worker, asked female producers about their sex lives, and talked about which co-hosts he wanted to sleep with.
This morning (November 30), Lauer addressed the allegations in a statement. His former Today colleagues Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb read the statement on the air this morning. It reads:
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. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.
Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.
Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I'm committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job.
I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.
Watch a clip of Guthrie reading Lauer's statement on this morning's episode of Today below.
A statement from Matt Lauer: "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions..." pic.twitter.com/f93rHXqKQD— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 30, 2017