Fired US TV news anchor Matt Lauer has said he is “truly sorry” after being accused of sexual misconduct. He was the co-host of NBC’s flagship Today program for two decades, but that came to an end this week. NBC sacked him on Wednesday after receiving a “detailed complaint” from a colleague. On Thursday, the network said two more women had come forward.
Lauer said that while some stories were untrue, there was “enough truth” to make him “embarrassed and ashamed”. In his first statement since the allegations came to light, Lauer said: “There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. “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.” He said “repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching”, adding: “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.”
NBC fired him two days after receiving a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace”. Two more women have since come forward with allegations, which have been published in Variety and the New York Times. Variety, citing unnamed sources, reported that Lauer allegedly exposed himself to a female employee, invited multiple female staff members to his hotel room while on assignment and had a button installed beneath his desk that allowed him to lock his door without getting up. In a statement released on Thursday, NBC said: “We can say unequivocally that, prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer’s conduct.” Lauer was one of the network’s biggest stars and signed a new contract with the network worth a reported $20m (£15m) per year in 2016.
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