Matt Lauer: 'There Is Enough Truth in These Stories'

Fired NBC anchor issues statement apologizing as new complaints come out
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2017 6:33 AM CST
Matt Lauer Issues Statement: 'I Am Truly Sorry'
This Nov. 16, 2017, photo released by NBC shows Matt Lauer during a broadcast of the "Today" show in New York.   (Zach Pagano/NBC via AP)

Matt Lauer has broken his silence over the sexual misconduct scandal engulfing him. "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions," he says in a statement, per CNBC. "To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry." He adds that "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." Meanwhile, after a damning Variety report that outlined a litany of accusations against the 59-year-old Lauer—including that he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his office door—NBC fielded two new complaints other than the one that led to his firing, a source tells the New York Times.

An ex-NBC employee behind one of the complaints, who spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity, says she endured inappropriate comments from Lauer starting soon after she joined the network in the late '90s. She documents a 2001 incident in which Lauer asked her to his office, locked the door, and sexually assaulted her. She says she fainted while it was happening and that Lauer's assistant took her to a nurse. She says she didn't report the incident due to shame she hadn't done more to stop him, as well as fear of being fired. In further bad news for Lauer, Bloomberg reports that the $9 million, 27,000-acre ranch on New Zealand's South Island that Lauer scooped up earlier this year is now at risk, due to a clause in the purchase approval by the Overseas Investment Office that says the purchaser "must continue to be in good character." An OIO rep says "we are ... seeking further information." (More Matt Lauer stories.)

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