Matt Lauer was allegedly leading a double life when he was fired from the Today Show for sexual misconduct. The popular anchorman was promptly canned after a 20-year career on the NBC morning show amid allegations of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace” from a former female colleague who submitted a detailed complaint about his behavior. But how much of the bad behavior did Matt Lauer’s wife of 19 years, Annette Roque, know about?
While the misconduct allegations have come as a shock, Lauer was reportedly unfaithful to his wife on a regular basis, according to a source for People—and his roving eye was public knowledge, even among Today Show staffers. But many were blindsided about the extent of Matt Lauer’s alleged workplace misconduct.
“He regularly cheated on his wife,” the insider told People. “Everyone knew. His wife lives in the Hamptons and he lives in the city, but we never heard he made unwanted moves.”
Lauer and Roque’s relationship been under a microscope for years. Annette, a former model, filed for divorce from Matt in 2006 while she was pregnant with their third child, citing “cruel and inhumane” treatment from her husband, then withdrew the papers one month later. In 2010, Lauer denied reports that he had split from Annette and had moved out of the family’s Manhattan apartment, saying the story was “a work of fiction.”
“Have we had a completely perfect, easy marriage? No,” Lauer told People.
“But the accusations [of infidelity] are ridiculous and I’m not going to [dignify] them with an answer. It’s not true.”
Still, Matt and Annette’s unusual living arrangement was cause for speculation. In an interview with Parenting, Matt Lauer detailed his long-distance living arrangement with his wife, which included helicopter rides home on the weekends.
“We made a decision a couple of years ago to move out of the city. Way out,” Lauer said.
“So my home is in the Hamptons and that’s where our kids go to school. As a result, I’m in [New York] city three or four nights a week, and I’m home on weekends. I go for school events–I do get out there for those.”
While she put on a brave front, Annette Roque must have known something about her husband’s double life. According to Variety, when covering the Olympics in various cities over the years, Lauer allegedly had a habit of inviting female NBC staffers to his hotel room late at night. Matt reportedly told colleagues that his wife accompanied him to the London Olympics because she didn’t trust him to travel alone.
And as recently as September, Radar Online posted photos of Matt Lauer kissing another woman while his wife sat in front of him at a Hamptons horse show as their daughter was competing. An insider told Radar that Annette Roque had “come to accept that her husband can’t keep his hands to himself.”
“Annette now turns a blind eye to it,” the source told Radar.
“They play happy family at their Hamptons home on weekends, then she lets him run off to New York to do Today—and goodness knows what else.”
Matt Lauer’s wife has shied away from interviews over the years, but the longtime NBC star has routinely talked about Roque and their unconventional relationship. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in 1998 Matt admitted it wasn’t love at first sight when he met Annette.
“It was one of those slow-developing things,” Lauer said. “I don’t think I kissed her for two months.”
The slow-moving couple eventually married in 1998 and had three kids together, but tabloid rumors haunted them due to Matt’s high-profile job on the NBC morning show. According to Entertainment Tonight, at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball in 2005, Lauer said that much that was written about his marriage was untrue.
“I go home and live my life and with my family and, you know, smile when I read some stuff and laugh,” Lauer said, with his wife Annette adding, “And cry.”
Lauer added: “As long as my kids and our family and our friends know the real story, that’s all we care about.”
Lauer was last seen publicly with his wife in September 2017, as they headed out to lunch in New York City. Matt Lauer and Annette Roque have yet to speak publicly about the allegations against him.