Matt Lauer has spoken out for the first time in five months.
The disgraced former Today Show host has issued a new statement in light of new and very troubling allegations leveled against him.
“I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months” Lauer told The Washington Post last night, adding:
“I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost.”
“But defending my family now requires me to speak up. I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC.
“However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false.”
A few months ago, Lauer was accused of rape.
A former NBC staffer said the embattled reporter locked the door to his office when she was inside of it and then forced himself on her.
But that alleged incident is actually not what Lauer is responding to here.
Instead, he has broken his lengthy silence after ex-colleague and co-host Ann Curry told The Post this week that she approached by two members of NBC’s management team in 2012 after an female staffer told Curry that she was “sexually harassed physically” by Lauer.
This is what Curry told the newspaper:
“A woman approached me and asked me tearfully if I could help her. She was afraid of losing her job. … I believed her.”
Added Curry in this new interview:
“I told management they had a problem and they needed to keep an eye on him and how he deals with women.”
It wasn’t until this past November, however, that Lauer was fired for sexual misconduct.
NBC management said at the time that it had received a believable report from an employee at the network in regard to Lauer’s behavior…
…and that it had reasons to believe many other incidents involving Lauer had also taken place.
Curry left NBC in 2015, much to the chagrin of pretty much anyone who ever watched her on air.
It was evident that she did not get along with Lauer, although she mostly took the high road when asked about him in January.
“I can tell you that I am not surprised by the allegations,” the veteran journalist said very simply in response to the Lauer scandal.
In this instance, though, Curry emphasized that she was familiar with verbal harassment examples.
A few days after Lauer was fired, he released the following statement:
There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and action.
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 people I love.
I thank them for their patience and grace.
There’s been talk of late, however, of Lauer trying to mount some kind of comeback.
We presume this is why Curry has come forward with a new round of accusations against him.
Good for her.
He deserves no more chances.