Former “Today” anchor Matt Lauer on Thursday released a statement acknowledging his wrongdoings with women over the years and apologized — but also said some of the charges against him were untrue.
“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,” he said in a statement read on the NBC morning show Thursday by his former colleague Savannah Guthrie. “As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.”
Lauer, however, disputed some of the claims that have been raised since his sudden termination was announced on Wednesday.
“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,” he continued.
“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 concluded.
After two decades at the helm of “Today,” Lauer’s career unraveled just 24 hours after NBC management was confronted with a detailed allegation of sexual misconduct against him. He was fired Tuesday evening and the news was read on-air live by a visibly-shaken Guthrie.
As fallout from Lauer moves into a second day, there are growing questions about what NBC management knew about Lauer’s behavior, and when they knew it.
Subsequent allegations published by Variety and The New York Times revealed graphic details of misconduct. In addition to that, footage of Lauer being inappropriate on-set has also leaked out, along with Katie Couric’s 2012 claim that Lauer frequently “pinches me on the ass a lot”