Matt Lauer has released a statement expressing his “sorrow and regret” for the actions that led to him being fired from NBC news on Wednesday, after he was accused of sexual misconduct.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” he said, in a statement read out by his former colleagues on NBC’s Today Show. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the disappointment and the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.”
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.”
Lauer also said that some of what was being said was “untrue or mischaracterized,” but that “there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.”
After the news broke Lauer had been fired, Variety published an extensive report detailing a “pattern of alleged misconduct” including allegedly exposing himself to an employee and giving a colleague a sex toy as a present.
By Thursday morning, three complaints had been made to NBC about Lauer, including a former employee of NBC who said she was “sexually assaulted” by Lauer in his office in 2001, according to the New York Times.
Announcing the termination of Lauer’s employment Wednesday morning, before detail of the allegations emerged, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack wrote: “While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
However after the Today Show broke the story on Wednesday morning, a further two women came forward with accusations about Lauer, including accusations that NBC had been told about Lauer’s misconduct.
In a statement from NBC management read out on Thursday’s Today Show, the company rebuffed these claims. “We can say unequivocally, that, prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer’s conduct,” it said.
Lauer had worked for NBC for over 20 years, and was reportedly paid a $25 million salary.