Matt Lauer finalized his divorce to ex-wife Annette Roque in September

By Joelle Goldstein
January 01, 2020 07:46 PM
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Matt Lauer rang in the new year with some new company.

The former Today show anchor, 62, was spotted in New Zealand over the holidays, vacationing with his new flame Shamin Abas.

In photos obtained by Radar Online, the pair bundled up and went for a bike ride down under, shortly after they reportedly boarded a flight together in New Jersey on Dec. 19.

Though this is one of the first times that Abas and Lauer have been seen together in public, the duo have known each other and been friends for years.

Abas, a successful Welsh businesswoman, works in marketing and events around New York, including the Hamptons, and in Palm Beach, Florida. She often works with high-end luxury clients and travels around the world for her job.

Jason Kempin/Getty; Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty

Back in September, multiple sources confirmed to PEOPLE that Lauer finalized his divorce from ex-wife Annette Roque after over 20 years of marriage.

The divorce became official nearly two years after the couple — who share sons Thijs, 13, and Jack, 18, as well as daughter Romy, 16 — separated following Lauer’s termination by NBC for alleged sexual misconduct. Lauer has denied the allegations.

Weeks after the former Today host was fired, PEOPLE confirmed he and Roque were no longer wearing their wedding rings, though a source at the time said Lauer was “fighting to save the marriage.”

“He doesn’t want a divorce,” the source said. “Both of them, their first thought is their children.”

In July, however, Roque, 53, officially submitted the paperwork for divorce in Suffolk County, New York. The ex-couple agreed to share custody of their kids as part of the divorce.

Matt Lauer and Annette Roque
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Since his firing, Lauer has maintained an extremely low profile in the Hamptons, and a source told PEOPLE this fall that he continues to “lay very low.”

“He’s angry about what he sees as the media’s unfair treatment of him, and hasn’t been taking things well,” said the source. “He had done a lot of work to repair his relationships with his kids and they’ve been sticking by him.”

“He went from being the biggest deal and being able to do whatever he wanted to being an outcast and it’s been a bitter pill to swallow,” the source continued.

The source also added that Lauer’s circle has only gotten smaller since former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils alleged that Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room at the Sochi Olympics. (Lauer also denied these claims and argued that it was consensual.)

“After the most recent revelations, some of the people who had stayed friendly with him since his firing have iced him out,” said the source. “They’re horrified by the allegations — and the fact that he still doesn’t think he did anything wrong.”

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.