Former 'Today' host Matt Lauer releases statement over sexual misconduct allegations

Matt Lauer releases statement as reported on Good Morning America on November 30, 2017. (WPVI)

Former "Today" host Matt Lauer has released a statement after NBC fired him over sexual misconduct allegations.

"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 people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace," Lauer said.

The New York Times says two more women have come forward with claims against Lauer.

"Variety" magazine published a report following a detailed two-month investigation with three of Lauer's alleged victims.

The women claim Lauer sent them lewd texts, exposed himself in his office and even gave a colleague a sex toy with an explicit note.

"Variety" says there have been rumors about the alleged incidents for some time. They also report that Lauer had a secret button under his desk so he could lock his door without getting up.

NBC maintains no one in management knew of a complaint against Lauer until Monday night.

Lauer, 59, has hosted "Today" for two decades. When paired with Katie Couric, "Today" was the longtime ratings leader and was highly lucrative for NBC. It now runs second in the ratings to ABC's "Good Morning America."

Lauer's co-host Savannah Guthrie made the announcement at the top of Wednesday's "Today" show. Last week, CBS News fired Charlie Rose after complaints from several women who worked for him.


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