NBC News has confirmed that the network’s abrupt firing of Today show star Matt Lauer on Wednesday is related to his alleged “inappropriate sexual behavior” with a fellow NBC employee that started at the 2014 Sochi Olympic games.
According to the Associated Press, the behavior began during the Russian-hosted Olympics and continued after the assignment.
In a memo to staff, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack said that the network received a complaint “from a colleague” about Lauer’s behavior on Monday night. It was the first ever complaint lodged against Lauer, said Lack, but given that the assertions represent “a clear violation of our company’s standards” and that NBC has reason to believe that it “may not have been an isolated incident,” the network moved swiftly to terminate the star anchor.
Lauer, who began working with the Today show in 1994 and joined as co-anchor in 1998, reportedly earned as much as $25 million per year during stretches of his NBC tenure and is likely the highest-paid news anchor of all time.