After months of silence, disgraced former NBC anchor Matt Lauer released a statement to avoid "further embarrassment" at the hands of the media. In the statement, Lauer admits to wrongdoing, but insists the reports regarding abuse and sexual coercion are false.
"I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over the past several months...I remained silent as an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of privacy they have lost," the statement, provided to The Washington Post, reads.
The statement continues, "I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father, and principal at NBC. However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive, or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false."
NBC fired Lauer in late November 2017 following reports of "inappropriate sexual behavior." In an unprecedented move, Lauer was ousted before the allegations were made public. In a memo to the staff of NBC, Andrew Lack, NBC News chairman, explained that the company had received a complaint against Lauer from one woman; upon investigation, the company had reason to believe this situation wasn't isolated.
Following his termination, Variety published an extensive report detailing multiple allegations from women on staff at NBC. One allegation detailed Lauer gifting a colleague a sex toy with a note detailing how he'd like to use the toy with her. In addition to sexual coercion and harassment, Lauer had a number of consensual relationships with members of the NBC staff, despite being married. (Reports emerged last week that Lauer and his wife Annette Roque are separating, although they are unconfirmed.)
Speaking to The Washington Post for a report published Thursday night, former NBC anchor Ann Curry claimed that during her tenure, a colleague approached her and asked for help regarding harassment at the hands of Lauer.
"A woman approached me and asked me tearfully if I could help her,” Curry told The Post. “She was afraid of losing her job...I believed her.” Curry then told management to look out for Lauer and his behavior around women. Curry left NBC in 2015 seemingly without reason.