Matt Lauer Accused of Allegedly Sexually Assaulting Former Employee in His Office
Matt Lauer has been accused of alleged sexual assault in two new complaints made to NBC
Matt Lauer is being accused of alleged sexual assault in two new complaints against him.
PEOPLE confirms two new sexual harassment allegations have been made to NBC against Lauer, 59, who was fired overnight from his position on the TODAY show.
A former NBC employee – who spoke to the The New York Times on condition of anonymity – said that Lauer sexually assaulted her in 2001. According to the publication, Lauer had been making “inappropriate comments” to her after she started working at the media company in the late 1990s.
The woman told the Times that Lauer asked her into his office in 2001, and that he locked the doors by pressing a button from his desk. (A source tells PEOPLE “many exec offices in 30 Rock have the button. It’s an idiosyncratic thing.”)
Lauer allegedly proceeded to ask her to unbutton her shirt, which she did. She claims he then pulled down her pants, bent her over a chair and proceeded to have intercourse with her.
The unidentified woman claims she blacked out with her pants halfway down and that she woke up on the floor to Lauer asking his assistant to take her to a nurse, according to the Times.
She told the publication she didn’t report the incident due to feeling as though she might lose her job, but did leave NBC a year later.
PEOPLE reached out to Lauer’s representatives for comment but did not immediately receive a response. The Times reported that the woman’s ex-husband confirmed she had told him about the alleged incident at the time while a friend said the woman had shared her story with them five years ago.
The nature of the second complaint has not been revealed.
In a report published Wednesday afternoon by Variety, three anonymous women accused the former newsman of sexual harassment, claiming Lauer had once brought a female employee into this office “and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis.” Lauer then allegedly “reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.”
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Lauer, who is a father of three, also allegedly gave a female colleague a sex toy as a present.
Guthrie opened the TODAY show Wednesday with a statement from Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News, explaining that Lauer’s firing was the result of unwelcome actions: “On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Meanwhile, multiple current and former NBC employees who spoke to Variety said they complained to upper management about Lauer to no avail. “Management sucks there,” a former anonymous reporter told Variety about executives who previously worked at the show. “They protected the shit out of Matt Lauer.”
However, an NBC spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement, “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.”