Following the Matt Lauer sexual abuse scandal, Megyn Kelly sat down with a former Today Show production assistant so she could share her story of a brief sexual relationship she had with the former anchor 17 years ago. Addie Zinone says she has faced criticism and shame for coming forward, and media outlets haven’t left her alone since it happened.
Lauer’s Accuser Tells Her Side
Zinone told Kelly that she only told a couple of close friends about the encounter, but soon after, the National Enquirer showed up at her house asking her questions. They kept coming after her over the years, and whenever they pressed her for information, she would exchange emails with Lauer. He obviously didn’t want the story to get out.
According to Radar Online, Zinone claims the two went out for a business lunch, and then he lured her into a dressing room. She says the encounter was consensual, but it was an abuse of power. She told Kelly that she is not trying to suggest that her situation is the same as those who Lauer abused or assaulted. But, there is something to her part of the story, where women choose to have sexual relations with a colleague due to fear of the consequences if they don’t.
"I'm putting my name and face out there to squash any doubts about the allegations from other women against Matt Lauer." https://t.co/xG3iebYgCE
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) December 14, 2017
Zinone said she was sure that she wasn’t the only “other woman” in Lauer’s life because “he did it so effortlessly,” but she was surprised he did it with other colleagues because surely it would have come out over the past 17 years. She said she felt alone and isolated and didn’t know what to do about the situation.
She said when NBC announced they had fired Lauer, she felt comfort in knowing she wasn’t the only one, but she was also afraid of what could happen. She decided to do an article with Variety, so people could put a face to the story and humanize it because many were doubting the accusations from some of the women in the Lauer scandal.
Many of the comments towards Zinone were harsh, with many accusing her of being a “homewrecker” or a “slut.”
Zinone is now married and has a daughter; she also works at a local television station in West Virginia. She says her husband has been very supportive of her coming forward and telling her story.
Megyn Kelly Seemed Thrilled To Take On The Matt Lauer Story
As for Kelly, she seemed a little pleased to be talking about this on her show, enjoying the opportunity to bash Lauer. The two never really got along well, and now it seems Kelly may get the opportunity to take his place.
Per AOL, Today Show viewers think that Kelly is a likely option to replace the ousted anchor, but not everyone is happy about that. Kelly has struggled during her hour of the show to find an audience since she started back in September.
Megyn Kelly Today airs on NBC.