Graphic Details Emerge in Matt Lauer Sexual Harassment Accusations, Report Says
The alleged sexually inappropriate behavior that got Matt Lauer booted from the “Today” show was not a one-time incident, Variety reported on Wednesday.
On the same day “Today” announced Lauer had been let go following a “detailed complaint” of inappropriate sexual behavior with a female colleague, Variety reported Lauer’s behavior with women at NBC included luring a female employee into his office and exposing his penis to her, giving a sex toy as a gift and playing the game "f--k, marry or kill." The magazine also reported the TV host had a button beneath his desk to lock his office door if he wanted privacy.
When NBC fired Lauer the network stated, "we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
The incident that got Lauer booted took place during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, NBC revealed on Wednesday. According to Variety, Lauer routinely used his time traveling with NBC’s Olympics’ coverage to ask female staffers to come to his hotel rooms.
Variety spoke to three women who said they were victim of Lauer’s. NBC did not respond to requests for comment regarding the allegations in the Variety bombshell report.
“There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that’s still a problem because of the power he held,” a former producer told the magazine. “He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married. So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain.”
Lauer's co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and "Today" colleague Hoda Kotb were given the rough task of breaking the news of Lauer’s firing to viewers on Wednesday.
"This is a sad morning here at 'Today' and at NBC News," Guthrie said before reading a note from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack.
"Dear colleagues, on Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer," Lack's statement read. "It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment."
Lauer has yet to release a statement about the allegations.