This Nov. 16, 2017 photo released by NBC shows Matt Lauer during a broadcast of the 'Today,' show in New York. NBC News fired the longtime host for 'inappropriate sexual behavior.' Lauer's co-host Savannah Guthrie made the announcement at the top of Wednesday's 'Today' show. ( Zach Pagano/NBC via AP)
According to the woman, Lauer began making inappropriate comments to her shortly after starting at NBC in the 1990s, the Times reported. While traveling with him for a story, he allegedly asked her inappropriate questions over dinner, including whether she had ever cheated on her husband. She said he later sat uncomfortably close to her in the car on the way to the airport and told her she was “no fun” when she moved away from him.
The woman said Lauer called her to his office in 2001 to discuss a story, the Times reported. Once there, she said he locked the door – which he could reportedly do with a button under his desk – and told her to unbutton her blouse, which she did. He then stepped out from behind his desk, pulled her pants down and had sex with her, according to the woman, who said she passed out with her pants down and woke up on his office floor. Lauer’s assistant then took her to see a nurse, she said.
Following the incident, the anchor reportedly never made an advance toward her again or spoke of what happened, the woman told the Times. While she didn’t report the incident at the time out of fear of losing her job, she did tell her then-husband and a friend, both of whom confirmed to the Times that they had heard her story. On Wednesday, the incident was reported to NBC after the woman told her then-supervisor. She has since been contacted by the network’s human resources department, the report said.