Ousted Today Show co-host Matt Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct was widely known by the staff, although his sacking came to a shock to him, according to reports.
Lauer, 59, was the subject of constant office innuendo and multiple complaints that went unaddressed, according to a new report in Page Six citing multiple unnamed sources.
‘The show was a total boys’ club, even despite it having a very large female staff,’ one source told the outlet.
‘Everybody at NBC knew about Matt Lauer’s sexually inappropriate behavior — and knew not to talk about it,’ said another current ‘Today’ show staffer quoted in the report.
On Thursday, DailyMail.com photographers spotted Lauer for the first time since he was fired late Tuesday. New reports claim that knowledge of his alleged misconduct was widespread
Spotted: It is the first time Lauer has been seen since he was fired by NBC on Tuesday night
Lauer’s co-hosts expressed their shock on air at the news of his firing, but a new report claims that they ‘all knew’ about Lauer’s alleged conduct and feigned their disbelief
‘Women did complain about his behavior, and there were a lot of closed-door meetings before it was all brushed under the carpet.’
ABC News reported similar claims on Thursday, with Linsey Davis reporting: ‘We had talked to dozens of former and current staffers who say that there was general knowledge within all ranks of NBC between staffers, high ranking executives, other anchors that were on air with Lauer.’
‘It appeared to be an open secret from your reporting,’ Robin Roberts said to Davis on Good Morning America, adding that NBC News Chairman Andy Lack ‘doubled down overnight saying unequivocally there were no complaints before Monday night.’
In a statement, NBC denied that, saying: ‘We can say unequivocally, that, prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer’s conduct.’
The complaint made on Monday led to an investigation that resulted in Lauer’s swift sacking roughly 24 hours later.
Lauer is seen at work the week before his firing. A new report claims that the news anchor was ‘shocked and dumbfounded and completely bewildered by what happened’
Back at it: Hoda Kotb was once again in for Lauer on the show (above on Thursday)
In the news: Kotb and Guthrie prepare to launch into a Lauer segment halfway through the show on Thursday (above)
The report also claimed that Lauer’s co-hosts were not being honest when they expressed utter shock on-air at new of his firing.
‘All the women on-air knew.. Al Roker knew. They feared Matt,’ a female staffer told the outlet. ‘The last few years, as well as the many years before, Matt controlled all of the women on the show and had all the men bowing and scraping to him.’
But even if his firing didn’t truly come as a surprise to his co-hosts, it did shock Lauer himself, according to a new report from People.
‘He was totally devastated,’ the source told the outlet of the married father-of-three Lauer. ‘He never thought it would get to this level.’
Lauer ‘was shocked and dumbfounded and completely bewildered by what happened,’ said the source.
‘He never expected this. He had felt like he was invulnerable — like Superman.’
‘People who worked with him found him to be flirtatious, but that doesn’t mean he was necessarily inappropriate,’ the source said.
Lauer (right) was seen handing handing his lawyer friend Eddie Burke Jr, who specializes in real estate, negligence and criminal law, an envelope on Thursday
Lauer expressed his shame in a statement earlier this week.
‘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,’ he said.
‘The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my troubling flaws. It has been humbling.’
‘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.’
LAUER ADMITS SHAME AND WRONGDOING
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.
The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my troubling flaws. It has been humbling.
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.’
As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC
I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.
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.
On Thursday, DailyMail.com photographers spotted Lauer for the first time since he was fired late Tuesday.
The former NBC host was seen in a jeep as he drove out from behind the gates of his $33million Hamptons estate on while still wearing his wedding ring.
He headed into town where he met with his lawyer friend, Eddie Burke Jr.
Lauer was seen handing Burke, who specializes in real estate, negligence and criminal law, an envelope moments after stepping out of his car. He then got back into the vehicle and headed home.
Lauer is reportedly seeking a $30million payout from NBC, which the network declined to comment on.
Meanwhile, a video clip emerged on Thursday in which Lauer admitted to having a bag of sex toys in his NBC office during a 2016 interview on Meredith Vieira’s short-lived talk show.
He appeared on the program alongside Savannah Guthrie, with Vieira putting her former NBC co-worker in the hot seat at one point.
‘I went into your office once, do you remember this, snooping, and you had a huge bag of sex toys,’ said Vieira, who co-anchored with Lauer from 2006 to 2011.
An embarrassed Lauer quickly offered a vague excuse, replying: ‘Oh wait a minute, can we explain what happened, because you were there. We had a guest on the show who was a, what was she, a sex therapist I think, and when she left I think she gave us a shopping back of sex toys.’
Vieira can be seen saying at least twice during his response that she has no recollection of this guest or the bag of toys.
As the week has gone on, some of the graphic details of the allegations against Lauer have emerged.
In the latest allegation, a married NBC staffer claimed she woke up in Matt Lauer’s office with her pants halfway down her legs after having sex with the anchor until she passed out.
The woman told The New York Times that the longtime Today Show host’s assistant had to take her to see a nurse after the alleged encounter in 2001.
The former employee, who was in her 40s at the time, said Lauer first made advances towards her while covering a story away from their New York headquarters in the late 1990s.
She described moving away from him during a car journey to the airport because he was sitting ‘uncomfortably close’, to which he apparently replied: ‘You’re no fun’.
Then, in 2001, she claims the married Lauer summoned her to his office at 30 Rock in New York to discuss work. She says he then used a button under his desk to lock the door and then told her to unbutton her blouse.
She said the veteran broadcaster then stepped out from behind his desk, pulled out a chair, bent her over, and started having sex with her until she fell unconscious.
The woman told The Times she woke up a while later on the floor of his office with her pants halfway down her legs, prompting his assistant to take her to seek medical attention.
The ex-staffer, who has not been named, is one of a string of women who have come forward accusing Lauer of sexual misconduct.