After five months of silence since his dismissal from NBC, Matt Lauer has acknowledged that he acted “inappropriately” while he was a host of the “Today” show, but denied reports of “coercive, aggressive or abusive actions.”
“I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months,” Lauer said in a statement made Wednesday to the Washington Post that was published Thursday night.
“I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost. But defending my family now requires me to speak up,” said Lauer, who was fired last November after accusations of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
“I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC,” he continued. “However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false.”
Lauer’s statement is part of a larger investigative article by the Post on Lauer and his firing from NBC after multiple complaints of misconduct by female employees. Accusations included a claim that he gave a colleague a sex toy as a present.
The Post’s article also states that former “Today” co-host Ann Curry told two members of NBC’s management team that a female NBC staffer told her she was “sexually harassed physically” by Lauer. “A woman approached me and asked me tearfully if I could help her,” Curry recently said. “She was afraid of losing her job … I believed her.”
“I told management they had a problem and they needed to keep an eye on him and how he deals with women,” Curry continued.
An NBC staffer anonymously confirmed this to the Post.
Curry left NBC in 2015 and has a non-disclosure agreement with the company.