Posted: December 03, 2017
By Carlin Becker, Rare.us
Fired NBC host Matt Lauer’s contract called for him to receive tens of millions of dollars, but it doesn’t look like the network will be paying him another dime after firing him for sexual misconduct in the workplace.
The former “Today” personality “will not be paid past his last day of work,” according to a senior NBC source who spoke with CNN on Friday.
Rumors have been swirling that Lauer’s lawyers would likely fight for him to get a large payout. It was predicted that the payout could be around $30 million, considering the fact that he made about $20 million a year to host “Today” and that his contract had been extended through the first half of 2019. According to the source, however, the network will not agree to a payout, as television news contracts typically include a morals clause.
It’s also unlikely that Lauer himself will lobby too hard for the payout, according to two people close to him, given that he has likely already been paid well over $100 million during his time at NBC. He reportedly accepted the network’s decision to terminate his contract and expressed remorse during his firing late Tuesday.
The bombshell news was announced by Lauer’s co-host, Savannah Guthrie, with the help of Hoda Kotb during an emotional episode of “Today” on Wednesday morning.
The following day, Lauer addressed the controversy in a statement:
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. 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. 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 the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace."
On the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 29, news broke that longtime “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer had been fired from NBC following complaints of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
NBC News chairman Andrew Lack sent a memo to “TODAY” staff in the early hours of Wednesday morning saying Lauer was terminated following a complaint by a colleague. In the memo, Lack wrote that Lauer’s behavior “represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standard. 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.”
Now that the allegations against Lauer are public knowledge, people within the world of journalism and news media are coming out of the woodwork and spilling the beans on what they knew about it — and it would appear that his alleged proclivities were an open secret.
Yashar Ali, a reporter who writes for The Huffington Post and New York Magazine, wrote on Twitter that he and others knew about Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct long before it became known to the public.
“I, and other reporters, have been aware of several women who have come forward privately in the past few months,” Ali wrote. “[E]ven before Weinstein. They weren’t willing to go public though…they were terrified of Matt.”
“Matt Lauer put the fear of god into these women,” Ali said in a follow-up tweet. “He had relationships with reporters outside NBC that he cultivated just for this purpose. They knew that.”
In a third tweet on the issue of how much he and others knew about Lauer’s behavior, Ali wrote “Lauer is among the worst I’ve heard about. Not in terms of the kind of misconduct but the way in which he manipulated these women into silence. It’s evil, frightening stuff.”
The New York Bureau Chief for Variety, Ramin Setoodeh, also chimed in on the subject of who knew what and when by admitting that he and another reporter had been working on a story about “serious sexual harassment allegations against Lauer.”
Matt Lauer was a veteran of NBC and “TODAY,” where he worked for more than 20 years. Lauer was reportedly one of the highest paid talents on the show, with an annual contract worth around $25 million, according to the Huffington Post.
In the beginning of the first post-Lauer “TODAY” broadcast, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb addressed Lauer’s absence.
“We just learned this moments ago. Just this morning. As I am sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this,” Guthrie started the broadcast after reading the official statement given by Lack.
“I’m sure we will be learning more details as the hours and days come. We promise we will share that with you. All we can say is we are heartbroken. I am heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many people here. And, I am heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any women who have their own stories to tell,” Guthrie said.
Matt Lauer’s alleged predilection for the ladies had no bounds, according to a recently unearthed 2009 interview the former “Today” anchor did with actress Sandra Bullock.
Bullock, who was promoting her film “The Proposal,” sat down for an interview with Lauer, but instead got more than she bargained for when he started off the line of questioning.
“The major thing that has changed since you were here last,” Lauer began, “is that I have now seen you naked.”
Bullock laughed along with Lauer and the off-camera crew, but then he added: “It’s now my screensaver.”
He then continued to ask her questions about doing nudity for the film, which she clarified she would only do nudity for comedy.
Lauer was fired Tuesday night — news of it broke early Wednesday — for alleged inappropriate sexual behavior with a colleague. Since his termination, at least five other women have come forward with additional allegations against the ex-anchor.
After chatting some more about the film, Lauer then came full circle, back to the nudity, asking “Did I mention you have a nude scene in this movie?”
Bullock laughed, to which he asked her to “come back more often.”
“No, not after this interview, no,” the actress replied as Lauer and the crew laughed.
Following the firing of NBC’s Matt Lauer amid sexual misconduct allegations, the network has received two additional complaints about him, including one from a former NBC employee who accused Lauer of sexually assaulting her in his office in 2001, the New York Times reports.
According to the woman, Lauer began making inappropriate comments to her shortly after starting at NBC in the 1990s, the Times reported. While traveling with him for a story, he allegedly asked her inappropriate questions over dinner, including whether she had ever cheated on her husband. She said he later sat uncomfortably close to her in the car on the way to the airport and told her she was “no fun” when she moved away from him.
The woman said Lauer called her to his office in 2001 to discuss a story, the Times reported. Once there, she said he locked the door – which he could reportedly do with a button under his desk – and told her to unbutton her blouse, which she did. He then stepped out from behind his desk, pulled her pants down and had sex with her, according to the woman, who said she passed out with her pants down and woke up on his office floor. Lauer’s assistant then took her to see a nurse, she said.
Following the incident, the anchor reportedly never made an advance toward her again or spoke of what happened, the woman told the Times. While she didn’t report the incident at the time out of fear of losing her job, she did tell her then-husband and a friend, both of whom confirmed to the Times that they had heard her story. On Wednesday, the incident was reported to NBC after the woman told her then-supervisor. She has since been contacted by the network’s human resources department, the report said.
Former "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC on Wednesday amid sexual misconduct allegations, issued a response Thursday morning to the accusations against him.
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