After the abrupt firing of TODAY show host Matt Lauer, a fixture in NBC’s lineup for years, a deluge of on- and off-air stories and statements have hinted at — if not confirmed — the sexual and professional misconduct Lauer stands accused of committing.
Lauer was fired after an NBC employee reportedly made a formal human resources complaint about him on Monday concerning an alleged sexual assault that took place during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. In an on-air statement read on the show he once hosted, co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb read a statement confirming that he was no longer with the network.
NBC News chairman Andrew Lack additionally wrote in the company-wide memo that the network had reason to believe that the alleged sexual assault was “not an isolated incident.”
In the wake of his firing, years of on- and off-camera relationships are coming under new scrutiny — and much of it isn’t favorable.
One particularly damaging clip, first posted by TMZ, shows a 2006 encounter between Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, presumably on the set of the TODAY show, which they co-hosted.
In the clip, it’s apparent that the show had gone to a commercial break when Meredith Vieira, who is standing, bends down to pick up scripts left on the table in front of them. Lauer is seated opposite her.
As she bends down, Lauer — whose microphone is still on — can be clearly heard telling Vieira she has a “pretty sweater” and tells her to “keep bending over like that” because it’s a “nice view.”
Lauer, for context, described his relationship with co-host Meredith Vieira as a “kiss on the lips relationship” as recently as 2016.