Matt Lauer’s first wife, Nancy Alspaugh, to whom he was married from 1981 to 1988, has spoken out against reports of his sexual misconduct.
On Wednesday, news broke the co-host of the “Today” show was fired after a colleague came forward alleging the 59-year-old sexually assaulted her at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
In the days since his termination, multiple women have come forward with complaints against Lauer, and old tapes showcasing his questionable behavior have gone viral.
Lauer released a statement before completely removing himself from all social media. He 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. 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.
And while many close to Lauer have condemned his alleged actions, his ex-wife is taking the time to defend his character.
Alspaugh told “Entertainment Tonight“:
“I was shocked because he’s been such a stalwart at that network and in that job. He’s been the best person that’s ever held that job and I couldn’t imagine that anything that he would have done — that would have been so out of character for him — that would have caused that reaction. I never saw him as a power monger or somebody who would abuse his position in any way.”
She continued to say it was shocking to hear some of the allegations against him because of how “incredibly nice” and “incredibly charming” he is:
“That’s why it’s so shocking, I think, for the people that really know him and really love him and they want to get the good stuff out. I want to get out the fact that he made a contribution to my nonprofit, that he helped me when my husband died. The selfless, giving part of him, which people tend to forget whenever this kind of a situation comes up. He would give you the shirt off his back if you really needed it. He did that for everybody. From the lowest person on set to, you know, the highest powers.”
Alspaugh then when on to question the truthfulness of the accusations.Marsaili McGrath/Getty Images
The screenwriter told “ET”:
“He’s just a very giving person and charming and I think a lot of this stuff is obviously going to come to light, whether it’s true or not, and some of the things that are being stated may not be true. We have to find that out, you know? As time goes on here, people should be aware there’s a family involved here. There are three children and that’s — I think it’s important to be aware that this can destroy a family, reporting on accusations before they know whether they’re real or not.”
The 62-year-old said she has made an effort to reach out to her ex-husband but has yet to have a conversation with him. She added she doesn’t have any knowledge of how Lauer’s three children are handling the situation.
Alspaugh said Lauer has her full support:
“…of course I’ve given him my support, one hundred percent.
[…] Like I said, what I want to get out there is the side of him that I know and that so many others know about him, which is the charming, want to help you in any way kind of guy he was.”
Lauer is currently married to former Dutch model Annette Roque. The pair has three kids together. Roque has not yet addressed her husband’s situation.