Nov. 30 (UPI) — Former “Today” host Matt Lauer has released a statement to apologize for the sexual misconduct allegations that led to NBC firing him Wednesday.
“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,” Lauer said. “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,” he continued.
“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,” he added. “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 concluded.
NBC fired Lauer after the network received a complaint alleging that he took part in “inappropriate sexual behavior.” NBC News chairman Andrew Lack, in a statement, said that the complaint about his behavior was the first one they received “in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News,” but noted it “may not have been an isolated incident.”
It was then reported by The New York Times that two more women came forward to NBC with complaints about Lauer with one former employee stating that the 59-year-old sexually assaulted her in his office in 2001.
The woman who declined to user her name, said Lauer had summoned her to his office where he had locked the door. She explained that she passed out and had to be taken to a nurse and that she felt helpless because she didn’t want to lose her job. The woman said she never reported what happened due to feeling ashamed.
Also on Wednesday, Variety published the results of a two-month investigation into Lauer’s alleged misconduct with the publication speaking with dozens of current and former employees of NBC, including three women who said the broadcaster sexually harassed them.
The piece detailed examples of Lauer’s misconduct including how he showed his penis to a female colleague, gave an employee a sex toy and how he would sometimes ask female producers who they’d slept with.