Matt Lauer, leading morning news anchor for NBC, has been fired due to sexual misconduct allegations the broadcast company announced on 29 November 2017.
Matt Lauer, leading morning news anchor for NBC, has been fired due to sexual misconduct allegations the broadcast company announced on 29 November 2017. EPA - PETER FOLEY

Lauer ‘embarrassed and ashamed’

A DAY after being fired by NBC, disgraced journalist Matt Lauer finally broke his silence - saying that even though some of what has been reported is "untrue or mischaracterised, there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed."

"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions," Lauer said.

"To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realise 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 mischaracterised, 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 the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace."

Lauer was fired on Wednesday for what NBC called "inappropriate sexual behaviour" with a colleague.

NBC boss Andrew Lack said in an email to staff that the company received a complaint about Lauer's behaviour on Monday and determined he violated company standards, and that it was not "an isolated incident".

The misconduct reportedly started when Lauer and a fellow employee were at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and continued when they returned to New York.

Mr Lack said it was the first complaint lodged against Lauer in his 20 years at NBC, but "we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

Lauer's Today show colleagues, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, broke the news of his axing on Wednesday morning in New York.

Later that day, Guthrie, Kotb and longtime Today show staple Al Roker hosted NBC's annual Christmas in Rockefeller Centre special featuring the annual New York tree-lighting ceremony, which Lauer was to have co-hosted.

Yesterday, Variety posted what it said was a two-month investigation that included dozens of interviews with current and former staffers who asked to remain anonymous.

Variety also reported allegations that Lauer once gave a co-worker a sex toy with a note about how he wanted to use it on her; that he showed another female co-worker his penis; that he would question female producers about their sex lives; and that he would talk about which co-hosts he would like to sleep with.

- with the New York Post



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