Matt Lauer released a platitudinous statement this morning, responding to the growing number of sexual harassment allegations against him. Given what we’ve read about Lauer, however, there’s no apology that can undo the damage. Lauer’s career is over.
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,” Lauer said. “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.
Sorry, but blah blah blahbitty blah. From what I understand, most people at NBC knew that Lauer was a “philanderer.” They knew that he was sleeping around. But they didn’t know it was “predatory.” But predatory or not, if he was sleeping with employees at a lower level than him — and that basically describes everyone who is not at an executive level — then he was running afoul of any normal sexual harassment policy.
“He regularly cheated on his wife,” one source told People. “Everyone knew. His wife lives in the Hamptons and he lives in the city, but we never heard he made unwanted moves.”
“Everyone on staff knew he cheated regularly on his wife,” another source said.
Yet another source added, “there was most definitely more than one” affair and alleges that “they were never with anyone whom [Lauer] didn’t have significant seniority over.”
That is sexual harassment.
There’s no pass on this one, buddy. There’s no magical, PR statement that’s gonna save you from this. Matt Lauer is done, and it sounds like some of these episodes could be the basis for criminal action. The question now is how many more people at NBC should be fired for allowing this behavior?
Also, I hope Lauer’s wife, Annette Roque, finally gets that divorce she originally filed for in 2006.
Also, TMZ dug up this footage from an off-camera moment where Lauer tells Meredith Viera to “keep bending over like that. It’s a nice view.”
Anyway, last night Ann Curry also weighed in, though it was only to say that she is still processing the news. “I’m still really processing it. We need to move this revolution forward and make our workplaces safe.”