Following the shocking firing of former “Today Show” co-host, Matt Lauer, Variety published a detailed report describing Lauer’s alleged actions toward colleagues over the years.
In the report, anonymous sources said Lauer once gifted a sex toy to a colleague with a note explaining how he would like to use it on her. According to the publication’s sources, he once asked a female to come into his office only to close the door and drop his pants, exposing his genitals. He was also reported to have coerced colleagues into playing the game, “F**k, Marry, Kill,” during which he would list all the female co-hosts he would most like to sleep with.
Variety also confirmed that the alleged assault that led to Lauer’s firing began during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and continued for several months after.
Sadly, as multiple people confirmed to Variety, Lauer’s misconduct was widely known by those at 30 Rockefeller Center. A former NBC reporter said management “sucked” and executives “protected the s**t out of Matt Lauer.”
Variety’s report also revealed that Lauer allegedly had a button under his desk that would allow him to lock his office door without ever having to stand up.
The magazine reported:
Lauer, who was paranoid about being followed by tabloid reporters, grew more emboldened at 30 Rockefeller Center as his profile rose following Katie Couric’s departure from “Today” in 2006. His 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.
An NBC insider confirmed the allegation to Fox News. Fox News reports that Lauer wasn’t the only person at the Rockefeller Plaza offices to have one— the executive producer of the “Today Show” was also recently discovered to have a button. According to Fox News:
The button, located under the executive producer’s desk, would cause the door to the cavernous office to swing shut and click closed. The mechanism was actually a “door opener”, a remote controlled device that would automatically open or close a door (and thereby lock if the door knob was “locked”).
Fox News added that such devices are sold on various websites.Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Early Thursday morning, Lauer issued a statement:
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. 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.
It is not yet known who will permanently fill Lauer’s spot on the show.