Matt Lauer and his wife, Annette Roque, are having a bad week, and it might be getting worse as their investment property, a farm in New Zealand, is now at risk due to Matt Lauer’s inappropriate behavior over the course of his career at Today. Matt Lauer and Annette Roque bought the large South Island farm in February, and with Lauer’s current dismissal for alleged sexual assault, New Zealand’s overseas investment regulator says that Lauer could have violated the “good character” clause required of foreign real estate investors.
Matt Lauer is now apologizing for any behavior at work that has been disrespectful to his Today colleagues, but it’s unclear how many of the accusations he’s actually copping to, and that could factor into whether or not he and wife Annette Roque will keep their investment property in New Zealand.
Yesterday, Matt Lauer’s Today co-host, Savannah Guthrie, was said to be blindsided when asked to read a statement announcing Matt Lauer’s sudden termination from the Today show after nearly two decades.
“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. 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.”
Today, New Zealand’s overseas investment regulator says that a discussion is taking place regarding Matt Lauer and Annette Roque’s fitness to own even investment property in New Zealand. One of the conditions in place to own property in New Zealand as a non-citizen is that the person or persons be of good character, but the New Zealand overseas investment regulator says recent accusations against Lauer bring this into question.
Lisa Barrett, Deputy Chief Executive of Policy and Overseas Investment, says the office is aware of the accusations against Matt Lauer, and they are doing their own investigation into Lauer’s worthiness, according to PageSix.
“The Overseas Investment Office is aware that allegations have been made in relation to Matt Lauer and that he is no longer working for NBC News in the USA. We are discussing this with his representative and are seeking further information.”
Matt Lauer and his wife, Annette Roque, have created a holding company, Orange Lakes Ltd., which then purchased property in the lush Hunter Valley of New Zealand. Lauer and Roque’s purchase of an over 27,000-acre sheep and cattle farm on New Zealand’s South Island was previously approved, but that was before the news broke about Matt Lauer and his reported behavior while working for NBC on Today. At this time, nothing about Annette Roque has been called into question, but she is partnered with Lauer in the holding company.
“A condition of the consent granted to Orange Lakes Ltd to purchase the lease for Hunter Valley Station is that the individuals with control of that company must continue to be of good character.”
If Lauer or Roque are deemed to not be of good character, the regulator has the power to force Lauer and Roque to sell the property.
Bloomberg says that the government of New Zealand has the right to force Matt Lauer and Annette Roque to sell their land if his recent behavior is deemed to be indicative of his bad character. New Zealand law stipulates that foreign buyers are subject to additional clauses, and the Lauer/Roque purchase had language about good character in its contract.
Local New Zealand media reported that the property in South Island that currently belongs to Lauer and Roque is valued at $9 million.