Matt Lauer is gone from NBC, but not forgotten. Variety reports that three women at NBC have accused Lauer of sexual harassment. They say he exposed his penis to one woman, expected oral sex, and played games like “F–k, Marry, Kill” with employees about female co-hosts.
The list of allegations and accusations is as bad as it was for most of the other men accused of sexual misconduct recently. That it’s gone on unchecked for 20 years is remarkable. What’s sad is that in that time Lauer, who was repeatedly cheating on his wife according to the tabloids, had three children who are now old enough to read these stories.
But they probably know already what’s been going on to some extent. Mrs. Lauer, Annette Roque, filed for divorce in 2006 but quickly took it back. The couple is recently seen together, and when they have been she’s looked miserable. A divorce is not out of the question now, with Roque certainly looking for half of Lauer’s $60 million in assets.
According to Variety, “[Lauer’s] office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer.”
This column has been in touch with a female former producer who is said to have been mistreated by both Lauer and his producer Matt Zimmerman. I’ll have more on that as it develops.