Who Is Annette Roque? 5 Things to Know About Matt Lauer's Wife, a Model and Mom of 3
In the aftermath of Matt Lauer‘s termination from NBC after accusations of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” it remains unclear where things stand with his wife of 19 years, Annette Roque.
Although neither have commented on the status of their relationship amid the scandal, a source told PEOPLE on Wednesday that the 59-year-old TV personality’s “family is his focus at the moment.”
And in Lauer’s statement about the accusations on Thursday, he said, “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.”
Learn more about Roque below.
1. She is a former model.
Roque was born in December 1966 in the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and Indonesian father. She grew up in a town near Amsterdam but set off to Paris to pursue her dream of modeling in her 20s.
Patrick Lemire, the French modeling agent who gave Roque her break, said she had “perfect exotic looks.”
Known by the stage name “Jade,” she was a familiar face in European cosmetics ads by the time she relocated to New York City, where Roque appeared as a model in J. Crew and Victoria’s Secret catalogs.
2. The couple met on a blind date.
Freelance stylist Maria Santoro set up the pair for a date in July 1997.
“They had a drink, he got her number, and that was it,” a friend of the couple told PEOPLE in 1998. “There was definitely a connection.”
However, Lauer told the Palm Beach Post that it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.
“It was one of those slow-developing things,” said the former Today host. “I don’t think I kissed her for two months.”
Lauer and Roque became engaged five months after they met, tying the knot on October 3, 1998, in Water Mill, New York. They have three children: son Jack, 16, daughter Romy, 14, and son Thijs, 11.
RELATED VIDEO: Matt Lauer Fired Overnight After NBC Received a Complaint Alleging ‘Inappropriate Sexual Behavior’
3. Roque briefly filed for divorce.
The couple weren’t without their marital issues.
Roque briefly filed for divorce in 2006. Newsweek reports in court documents, Roque claimed Lauer committed “cruel and inhumane” acts against her that endangered her mental and physical well-being and repeatedly criticized her parenting skills.
Despite the allegations, Roque withdrew the court papers three weeks after filing them.
In 2010, the couple continued to defend their marriage, slamming a report that said they had split and Lauer had moved out of their home as “a work of fiction.”
“I am living in my apartment with Annette and my children as a family and a couple,” Lauer told PEOPLE. “I have never moved out. I am not moving out. There is no truth to that.”
Roque stated in a separate interview with PEOPLE, “Out of self respect, I want to stand up for our family and protect them.”
Lauer acknowledged past difficulties in the marriage, but he labeled reports that he cheated on her as “ridiculous” and “offensive.”
“Have we had a completely perfect, easy marriage? No. But the stories you’ve read over the years are not true,” the TV personality said. “I don’t think we’re any different than any married couple that’s been together for 12 years. The accusations [of infidelity] are ridiculous and I’m not going to [dignify] them with an answer. It’s not true.”
Roque also acknowledged past marital difficulties but said, “We have worked through it.”
4. Lauer allegedly had multiple affairs.
Several insiders told PEOPLE that the veteran morning host was allegedly often unfaithful to his wife.
“He regularly cheated on his wife,” one source claimed. “Everyone knew. His wife lives in the Hamptons and he lives in the city, but we never heard he made unwanted moves.”
A former Today staffer echoed the first source’s claims, telling PEOPLE, “Everyone on staff knew he cheated regularly on his wife.”
“That wasn’t a secret, but sexual [misconduct] is a shock,” added the former Today staff member. “He was friendly and approachable with everyone, and was very well-liked.”
Lauer’s reps are not commenting.
5. They live in New York City and the Hamptons.
While Lauer was busy with work duties in Manhattan, Roque opted to live with her children two hours away in the Hamptons year-round.
According to Architectural Digest, the family bought a $36.5 million home in North Haven from actor Richard Gere in 2016. The beachfront Strongheart Manor features a 14,000-square-foot main house with two guesthouses and a basketball court on six acres.