Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday night due to a sexual misconduct complaint, acknowledged Thursday that there is “truth” to the stories reported on Wednesday about his behavior, but he also claimed that some incidents were “mischaracterized.”
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have cause 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,” Lauer said in a statement.
“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,” he continued. “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,” Lauer concluded in the statement.
NBC News announced Wednesday morning that Lauer was fired after the network received a complaint about “inappropriate sexual behavior.” In a statement about Lauer’s termination, NBC News chair Andy Lack said that the network was “presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
The New York Times reported that NBC received at least two more complaints about Lauer. One complaint involved an incident in 2001 in which Lauer allegedly summoned a woman to his office and sexually assaulted her. The woman passed out and had to be taken to the nurse, according to the New York Times.
Variety reported that Lauer allegedly once gave a female colleague a sex toy with a note telling her that he wanted to use it on her, and allegedly once summoned another female colleague to his office and proceeded to expose his genitals. Variety also reported that the complaint that led to Lauer’s firing involved an incident at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but Variety did not provide any details on the incident.