Matt Lauer’s lawyers are reportedly trying to ensure that the disgraced former Today show host walks away from his NBC gig with a hefty sum.
Attorneys for Lauer, who was fired by NBC on Tuesday amid a flood of sexual harassment complaints, are lobbying the longtime TV anchor’s former employers to pay the remainder of Lauer’s contract with the network, according to a report from Page Six. With Lauer reportedly earning well over $20 million per year on a contract that has about a year-and-a-half remaining, such a payout would eclipse $30 million, according to the report.
NBC News fired Lauer on Tuesday after receiving complaints about the Today host’s alleged “inappropriate sexual behavior,” according to a memo sent to network staff, while more details of Lauer’s alleged misconduct have been reported over the past few days.
While Page Six reports that Lauer’s legal team is arguing that NBC should continue paying Lauer through the remainder of his contract, the report also notes that any moral clause within that contract could very well have been triggered by the mounting claims against the TV anchor, which would likely bar Lauer from any rights to collect what is left of his huge salary. Of course, it goes without saying that NBC would prefer not to shell out tens of millions of dollars to a man the network just fired, especially as the network continues to look for a replacement on Today for Lauer, who was one of the most prominent names at NBC after more than two decades at the network.
Fortune contacted William Zabel, an attorney for Lauer, for comment, and we will update this article with any response.
Lauer could stand to lose out on a large sum of money if NBC denies him his remaining salary, and he’s not the only high-profile man in the entertainment world to find himself in such a situation, given the rising tide of harassment claims against figures such as Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., and Charlie Rose.
However, Fortune‘s Claire Zillman wrote in-depth on Thursday about the far greater number of women who have experienced harassment and abuse in the workplace and whose careers have suffered as a result outside of the headlines.