A statement from Matt Lauer was read live on NBC’s Today show on Thursday, November 30, after two additional women came forward to tell the New York Times about alleged sexual assault incidents with Lauer. One of those women was a married woman who claimed that Matt summoned her to his NBC office and locked the door, sexually assaulting her by bending her over a chair and having sex with her therein. The woman also claimed that she fainted during sex and told the publication that Matt had his assistant get her to a nurse.
Lauer began his statement by issuing a mea culpa, but also challenged some of the testimonies being issued against him.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. 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. 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.”
“I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. 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.”
As seen in the above video, Savannah Guthrie once again appeared to choke back tears as she read the part of Matt’s statement that featured Lauer apologizing for causing shame to people that Matt cherished dearly. Guthrie said that Matt’s statement had just been received mere minutes prior to the Today show going live on the air.
Until that point, no statement had been officially made by Matt, so the statement from Lauer was so fresh and new that when the Today show rolled the pre-recorded news snippet about his firing, the voiceover claimed that Lauer hadn’t made a statement about the melee surrounding him.
The above photo shows Today co-anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie hugging one another on Wednesday, November 29, after telling Today viewers about Matt being fired. The duo spoke of their love for Lauer, a longtime colleague, as they also spoke about having heavy hearts for the alleged victim who was the first to come forward with official proof of Lauer’s alleged wrongdoings, according to NBC News, which fired Lauer for “inappropriate sexual behavior.”
The reaction on Facebook to the latest updates about Lauer include social media users calling Matt’s behavior “creepy,” as video of Matt telling a former co-host to keep bending over because she was providing him a nice view goes viral, along with other interactions Lauer has had with female coworkers and Today show guests.