Matters only grow more prickly for NBC News in the sexual misconduct realm. As the Washington Post reported that two women lodged accusations against Tom Brokaw, Matt Lauer broke his silence (within the same report) over the allegations that led to his swift firing from TODAY, five months ago. Those revelations included a door-locking button on Lauer’s desk, which presented a terrible look, and although there was word that many of his sexual relations in the workplace were consensual, women alleged that he exposed himself to them in his office and even gifted one of them a sex toy.
Lauer has acknowledged “inappropriate” behavior while alluding to his wife and family, along with his position at NBC. However, he maintains that no coercion took place in a statement to the Washington Post:
“I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months. I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost.
“But defending my family now requires me to speak up. 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.”
Lauer’s decision to speak clearly (and only) arrived amid a larger piece about the ongoing issues that NBC is having, not only with Brokaw and previously with Lauer, in addressing what appears to be a pervasively hostile work environment for women.
Also within the piece, Ann Curry is quoted as saying that she told multiple NBC executives in 2012 that Lauer was “a problem and they needed to keep an eye on him and how he deals with women.” Curry explained that a woman come to her while revealing that she was “sexually harassed physically,” by Lauer. Shortly thereafter, Curry was ousted from Today, and it was no real secret that Lauer wanted Curry gone for reasons unknown at the time. Yet of course, the Post‘s new report has opened the door to more speculation.
(Via Washington Post)