The accusations being fired at Matt Lauer are growing and the embattled now former co-host of The Today Show has responded, saying he feels shame for his behaviour and for that behavior becoming a part of public discourse. Lauer was fired by NBC early in the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 29 after allegations of what the station called “inappropriate sexual behaviour” came to light.
Upon Lauer’s firing, a statement from NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack Wednesday said there was one complaint they investigated and found credible and added there may be more. Now there appears to be as many as 8, or more, complaints being lodged against Lauer.
NBC said on Thursday that prior to learning of the one single accusation which caused them to fire Lauer, lodged by a female staff member, they did not know of any instances of sexual misconduct perpetrated by Lauer. However, Variety said they have been investigating multiple accusations against him for the past two months.
The news of Lauer’s firing was broken on the show Wednesday by co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb; the two were clearly emotional about news they had themselves only just learned.
The 59-year-old Lauer, married with children, released the following statement on Thursday:
There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” his statement began. “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.
Lauer, who had become the face of the show, began his tenure there in 1994, starting as a news reader. Within 4 years he was co-hosting, a position he has held since, working alongside the likes of Meredith Vieira, Katie Couric and Ann Curry.
He also worked on other shows and his salary was in the $25 million range, yearly.