Matt Lauer, former co-host of ‘The Today Show,’ has issued a statement after being fired by NBC for alleged sexual misconduct.
His statement was read on 'Today' on Thursday morning:
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by my 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. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It's been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace."
Meanwhile, Variety Magazine has published the results of a two-month investigation, and they say Lauer’s behaviour was well-known and he was very well-protected. They interviewed dozens of current and former staffers who say that Lauer (a married man) would fixate on women’s looks. He allegedly gave a sex toy to one co-worker, with a note describing how he’d like to use it on her.
Others claim he had a button under his desk that locked his office door, so that he could harass women in private. There was also a reported incident in Sochi (when he was covering the winter Olympics in 2014) when he allegedly assaulted a co-worker.
However, not everyone is appalled by Matt Lauer’s alleged behaviour. Fellow news man Geraldo Rivera came to his friend’s defence. He Tweeted, “News is a flirty business, and it seems like the current epidemic of sex harassment allegations may be criminalizing courtship and conflating it with predation.” (So, in Geraldo’s world, locking your co-workers in your office with you until they say yes is “courtship.” Charming.)