Matt Lauer continues to be exposed for sexual misconduct in the workplace.
According to a two-month investigation by Variety released on Wednesday (shortly after Lauer’s firing from NBC News), more than 10 women have come forward with stories about the journalist’s inappropriate behavior.
One unnamed colleague recalled being left mortified when Lauer gave her a sex toy as a present with an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her. Another instance involved Lauer calling a female co-worker into his office, where he dropped his pants and exposed his penis. He allegedly reprimanded the employee when she declined to engage in a sexual act.
Additionally, the Today vet was known for making lewd comments verbally or over text messages.
According to a former producer, Matt was strategic with his relationships at the office:
“There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that’s still a problem because of the power he held. 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.”
He would also allegedly ask female producers about their sex history, and offer to trade names of who they’ve slept with. Not to mention, the 59-year-old liked to play “fuck, marry, kill” where he’d identify the female co-hosts that he’d most like to sleep with.
After Katie Couric‘s departure in 2006, it’s said Lauer became “more emboldened” as his office was secluded and he had a button under his desk that locked the door without him having to get up. Two women who were harassed by him say this would allow him to “initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him,” according to the outlet.
The misconduct extended beyond the office, too.
Several employees told Variety that when Lauer would travel for NBC, he paid “intense attention to a young woman on his staff,” and would bring up her career ambitions. He allegedly asked her to deliver a pillow to his hotel room, according to a source who witnessed the incident. Unfortunately, this doesn’t sound like an isolated incident.
And it doesn’t sound like his behavior was as much of a secret as the Today team is making it out to be.
A former reporter said:
“Management sucks there. They protected the shit out of Matt Lauer.”
These accounts have been corroborated by friends and employees who were informed of the various incidents at the time. Apparently, their initial complaints fell on deaf ears with show execs.
Wow. Fuck Matt Lauer. Still “adore” him, Kathie Lee Gifford??
[Image via Patricia Schlein/WENN.]