Matt Lauer has issued a statement in reaction to the sexual harassment allegations made against him. The former “Today” anchor says there are no words to express his “sorrow” and “regret,” although he does mention that some of the allegations going around are “untrue or mischaracterized.” The statement was released by one of Lauer’s personal publicists. The statement reads as follows:
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.
Lauer was fired by NBC on the morning of November 29 ahead of a bombshell report from Variety in which three women came forward accusing the former anchor of sexual harassment. One of the women said Lauer gave her a sex toy as a present and wrote an explicit note describing how he wanted to use it on her, which left her “mortified.”
Another woman told Variety that Lauer asked her to come into his office one day and that he exposed himself to her when she entered. When she declined to do anything sexual with him, Lauer allegedly reprimanded her.
Lauer had been with NBC for two decades. Variety spoke with dozens of current and former staffers at “Today,” who revealed Lauer’s alleged harassment was an open secret and that past encounters were reported to human resources and “Today” executives.