"For [Matt] Lauer, work and sex were intertwined," states Variety
in an exclusive report that follows a two-month investigation into the co-host of NBC's Today
, who was fired Wednesday over complaints of sexual misconduct
during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Lauer "was fixated on women, especially their bodies and looks," dozens of current and former NBC employees say. Three women tell Variety
they were sexually harassed by Lauer, and their stories were corroborated. He kept it "within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain," a former producer says. Several women say they did complain to NBC executives but were ignored. “They protected the s— out of Matt Lauer,” a former reporter says. Here's more from the Variety
- Lauer once gave a sex toy to a colleague as a gift. In an explicit note, he told her he wanted to use it on her.
- He called an employee to his office and exposed his penis to her. He then berated her for refusing to do anything with it.
- Lauer had a button installed under his desk that allowed him to lock his office door. "It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him," two women say.
- He asked female producers to name people they'd slept with.
- Lauer often played "f---, marry, kill" and named co-hosts he wanted to have sex with.
- He sent sexually suggestive text messages to employees.
- Lauer compared a colleague's sexual performance to her performance at work.
- He often invited female NBC employees to his hotel room late at night during Olympic coverage.
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