Matt Lauer & Wife Annette Are 'Preparing' to Divorce: The 'Damage Can't Be Fixed,' Source Says
Though they're living together in the Hamptons, a source tells PEOPLE Matt Lauer and his wife "rarely talk"
Matt Lauer‘s marriage appears to be over.
A source tells PEOPLE that the former Today show anchor — who was terminated by NBC almost five months ago for alleged sexual misconduct — “rarely talks” to his wife Annette Roque, adding that the two are “preparing for divorce.”
“He is truly devastated and wants to make up for anything he has done to hurt people,” the source says. “But the damage in his marriage can’t be fixed, and each would be better off to move on. They know this, but the kids are important to both of them.”
The source claims that discussions of money are stalling the divorce proceedings.
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The veteran anchor was terminated by NBC on Nov. 29 for alleged sexual misconduct. A source later 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. (Another source with knowledge of the situation said Lauer had viewed this relationship as “consensual” and was “dumbfounded” by the accusation.)
He addressed the allegations in a statement released Nov. 30.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” he said. “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,” he continued. “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 people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.”
Several insiders told PEOPLE that he was allegedly often unfaithful to Roque.
“By Matt’s own admission there were struggles and challenges with his wife,” said one source. “Like many couples, they struggled with a modern marriage.”
A former longtime colleague of Lauer’s said the marriage “was never good,” adding that Lauer’s reputation as a ladies’ man bothered his wife, a Dutch model, even before they wed.
“He was a player when she met him and she knew that,” the colleague said. “Even many years ago, he was a flirt, a philanderer. He did his thing.”
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In December, a source told PEOPLE that while Lauer and Roque were going through a challenging time, they didn’t want the drama to disrupt the lives of their children, who are in school. At the time, the source said the couple was taking it “day by day,” adding that “no long-term decisions” had been made about the future of their marriage.
They’ve also been open about marital troubles in the past.
Roque briefly filed for divorce in 2006. In court documents obtained by the National Enquirer, Roque claimed Lauer committed “cruel and inhumane” acts against her, demonstrating “extreme anger and hostility” that endangered her mental and physical wellbeing as well as repeatedly criticized her parenting skills.
Despite the allegations, Roque withdrew the court papers three weeks after filing them.
In 2010, the couple denied a report that Lauer had moved out of their New York City apartment. (However, source have recently confirmed Roque and their kids lived full-time in the Hamptons while he stayed in the city on weekdays.)
“I am living in my apartment with Annette and my children as a family and a couple,” Lauer said. “I have never moved out. I am not moving out. There is no truth to that.”
Roque said in a separate interview with PEOPLE, “Out of self respect, I want to stand up for our family and protect them.”
“Have we had a completely perfect, easy marriage? No. But the stories you’ve read over the years are not true,” Lauer said. “I don’t think we’re any different than any married couple that’s been together for 12 years.”