Matt Lauer was fired from Today in November
Matt Lauer has admitted to — and apologized for — seeing NBC staffers romantically during his tenure at the network.
“Five months ago I was terminated by NBC after admitting to past relationships with co-workers. A day later I took responsibility, apologized to the people I had hurt and promised to begin the process of repairing the damage I had caused my family. I have worked every day since then to honor that promise,” he said Friday in a full statement to PEOPLE, which his lawyers say they provided to the Washington Post but was not printed in full.
“I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months – including a claim that I would, or even could, lock someone in my office. I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost,” Lauer added in the part of the statement printed by The Post.
“But defending my family now requires me to speak up. I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC. However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false,” he concluded.
Lauer was suddenly fired from Today after management “received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News, announced Nov. 29, 2017.
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An insider previously told PEOPLE that Lauer was let go due to sexual misconduct throughout 2014 with a female staffer, including at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Women have also anonymously accused Lauer of sexual harassment and assault in reports published by Variety and The New York Times.
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In the aftermath of the allegations, Lauer and his wife Annette Roque “rarely talk” and are “preparing for divorce,” according to a source. Several insiders told PEOPLE that he was allegedly often unfaithful to Roque. (The couple, who wed in 1998, share three kids together: sons Jack, 16, and Thijs, 11, and daughter Romy, 14.)