Matt Lauer once ruled NBC News as the network's golden boy, known to have so much power and be so possessive of his position that he allegedly destroyed the careers of possible contenders for his throne. But as that portrait of Matt as a proud and jealous peacock emerges, those close to Lauer are revealing that life for the former Today show anchor has been transformed. Matt is "weak," according to insiders, who also revealed that he is embarrassed by what has been revealed. Even as those sources paint a sad picture of the former golden boy, however, new details are emerging about the sex scandal that he allegedly sparked. What did NBC know and when?
Matt Lauer's Today Culture: Sexual Innuendos And 'Dirty' BanterIn the years before the sex scandal transformed Matt Lauer's life forever, he blossomed in a newsroom where dirty jokes were not just accepted but encouraged, insiders told People magazine. Some of the sexual humor reportedly was more appropriate for high school students than for a world-renowned news anchor.
One of the sources said that Matt didn't just offend women with his sexual and "inappropriate" remarks, however. Some men also reportedly felt that Lauer crossed the line at times with his "dirty" humor.
"Juvenile humor was the name of the game at the Today show under Matt Lauer. Man or woman, Matt was an equal-opportunity offender."While Katie Couric participated in the "dirty jokes" in what was described as a "tough-talking" atmosphere, life for those who worked with Couric and Lauer changed after Katie's exit, revealed the insiders.
Katie Couric Exit Changed Matt Lauer's Newsroom Games, Say InsidersAfter Bryant Gumbel left, the once serious and "stern" environment in the newsroom changed, according to the insiders. One source revealed that although Katie Couric and Matt initially loosed up the serious environment, it changed again after Katie left.
"With Katie [Couric] and Matt [Lauer], it was much looser...and also maybe more inappropriate. With Couric's departure, Lauer became ever more powerful. And some say his flirty on-air persona gave way to sinister side effects."The insider revealed that after the cameras were turned off, Matt continued that "flirty" behavior. But there were reportedly consequences for those who didn't fall into line. "If you didn't bat your eyelashes and giggle and play along, sooner or later you'd get the criticism that you didn't appear to be supportive of him," revealed one insider.
Matt Lauer Thought Relationship Was 'Consensual,' Not 'Inappropriate Sexual Misconduct' As More Details EmergeInsiders told People magazine that there is an enormous gap between Lauer's view of the situation and NBC's statement. One of the sources said that Matt was fired because of "sexual misconduct throughout 2014, including at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia." But another insider revealed that Lauer was shocked by the allegations even as more women come forward with new accusations.
"Lauer had viewed this relationship as 'consensual' and was 'dumbfounded' by the accusation. Women have also anonymously accused him of sexual harassment and assault."With the news department still reeling from the accusations, one staff member told the magazine that she hopes something positive will result from the seemingly endless sexual misconduct allegations against men such as Matt.
"If the workplace can get better for women, I want it to," she stated. "For Matt, I grieve."
Matt Lauer Left 'Ashamed, Weak,' But What Did NBC Know And When?NBC News continues to cope with "outside scrutiny" while admitting that Matt Lauer's alleged sexual misconduct "was appalling," reported Variety.
However, in the wake of the Today anchor's departure, the publication questioned precisely what NBC knew prior to firing Matt. Even before the accusations from a current staff member, sexual misconduct allegations revolving around Lauer had emerged.
"NBC had no choice but to act after a current employee came forward to management with disturbing allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by Lauer. [But] there is widespread disbelief within the division that senior management had no inkling of his troublesome tendencies and that he made many women on staff uncomfortable."When Matt was fired, he had devoted more than two decades of his life to NBC News and Today. But insiders told Variety that the 20-year period included not just one isolated incident but multiple examples of sexual misconduct.
NBC News alleges that no previous complaints were submitted about Lauer. In contrast, staffers at NBC describe an atmosphere of "outrage" that the network allowed Matt's behavior to continue for such a long period of time.
As NBC continues to try to clean up the mess, friends told People that Lauer is left with shattered pieces of his "broken" life to try to mend.
Matt Lauer Reeling After Falling From 'Golden Boy' Highs To 'Broken' Man LowsMatt is still reeling in the wake of being fired from NBC News, said the friends. One of Lauer's pals, who worked with him on the Today show, described the changes in Matt.
"[Matt Lauer] is weak and broken and ashamed."In his statement about the allegations, Lauer insisted that some of the claims were "untrue or mischaracterized." However, Matt also admitted that "there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed."
But while the focus is on the sexual misconduct allegations, insiders told Page Six that Lauer also crossed the line when it came to his professional behavior at NBC. Throughout the 20 years of his reign at Today, Lauer reportedly was possessive of his position.
"[Matt Lauer] was ruthless in maintaining his spot as the golden boy of NBC."Matt allegedly was so jealous when any contenders for his job emerged that he destroyed their careers. Lauer reportedly didn't even wait for possible rivals to develop their careers. Instead, the sources alleged that Matt took actions that ruined male contenders' chances of succeeding at NBC early in their professional lives.