The New York Times has published a new and explosive allegation against Matt Lauer.
According to this newspaper, the former Today Show anchor once sexually assaulted an NBC staffer in his office.
The report quotes two anonymous women who have come forward with accusations, just days after another woman and her lawyer approached NBC executives with details on how Lauer acted in an offensive manner toward her.
In response, NBC fired Lauer for what it referred to as "inappropriate sexual behavior."
Via a statement from News Chairman Andrew Lack at the time, the network said it had reasons to believe what transpired between Lauer and this latter individual was NOT an "isolated incident."
And the aforementioned New York Times report backs up this belief.
The most shocking, disturbing and damaging aspect of this report cites and alleged incident that took place in 2001.
The publication writes that it talked to an ex-NBC staffer – speaking on the condition of anonymity – who described the ways in which Lauer made “inappropriate comments” to her after she began working at the media company in the late 1990s.
In 2001, Lauer invited her into his office.
He used a button under his desk to lock the door remotely.
He’s then accused of asking the employee to unbutton her blouse, a request to which she acquiesced.
She claims Lauer then got up… pulled down her pants… bent her over a chair … and had intercourse with her.
She says she passed out halfway through the experience.
She says she later woke up on the floor and heard Lauer asking his assistant to take her to a nurse.
The alleged victim says she didn’t report the incident at the time because she feared she would lose her job, although she did leave NBC about a year later.
The New York Times says the woman’s ex-husband has confirmed she told him about the assault soon after it happened, while a friend says the woman shared her story with her five years ago.
Neither Lauer nor anyone representing him has responded to this latest allegation.
It comes on the heels of three women also speaking to Variety and detailing other heinous acts committed by Lauer.
One, who also worked for NBC, recounted how she was called into Lauer’s office “and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis.”
Lauer then allegedly “reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act."
Another woman says Lauer gifted her with a sex toy and grew irritated when he didn’t use it in front of her.
There’s also been talk that Lauer sexually assaulted someone while covering the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
Just horrible, gross stuff all around.
Lauer has been a co-anchor on Today since 1994. He was the highest paid employee at the company, based on yearly salary.
Upon announcing her colleague’s firing, a shaken up Savannah Guthrie said the following on air yesterday morning:
We are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt – he is my dear, dear friend and my partner, and he has been loved by many, many people here.
And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell.
We’ll continue to update this story as more news breaks.
UPDATE: Lauer has issued an apology. He doesn’t deny very much about what has been said about him in it.
Through his own publicist, Lauer said the following this morning.
We’ll just go ahead and run it word-for-word:
There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused 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.
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.
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.