Matt Lauer Apologizes After Firing Over Sexual Misconduct Claims

Matt Lauer on Thursday expressed “sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused,” a day after NBC News fired the star “Today” show anchor over an allegation of inappropriate sexual behavior.

“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,” Mr. Lauer wrote in a statement. “I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”

“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Mr. Lauer wrote. “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.”

By Thursday, NBC had received at least three complaints related to Mr. Lauer, including from a former employee who said that the anchor sexually assaulted her in his office in 2001. Another woman, who spoke with NBC executives on Monday evening, described interactions with Mr. Lauer that began while covering the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

A fixture of American living rooms for more than two decades, Mr. Lauer was uncharacteristically silent on Wednesday in the wake of his firing, which left the television industry stunned and dominated headlines around the country. His former co-host on the “Today” show, Savannah Guthrie, read his statement aloud at the beginning of Thursday’s 7 a.m. broadcast, saying the program had received Mr. Lauer’s remarks just moments before going on-air.

Mr. Lauer’s statement concluded: “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.”

Content originally published on https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/business/media/matt-lauer-nbc-statement.html by MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM