In 2012, the National Enquirer published a story with the following title: “Is It True What They’re Saying About Matt Lauer?”
The crux of the article was an inconceivable rumor that Lauer and his “TODAY” co-host Natalie Morales had engaged in a behind-the-scenes affair. The Enquirer even went so far as to float rumors that Lauer had fathered one of Morales’ children. Within the story, Enquirer staff quoted an anonymous source who said Lauer was trying to get Ann Curry fired — which she was, in 2012 — and that people were itching for Lauer’s skeletons to come out.
“Matt has enemies inside and outside the show’s Studio 1A, and if he’s got this giant skeleton in his closet, there are many who want to see it come out,” the source said, according to the Enquirer.
Fast forward five years; Ann Curry is out of a job, Natalie Morales has moved to Los Angeles, and Matt Lauer has been fired by NBC for what they felt was a credible claim of sexual assault by an employee.
Rumors of Morales and Lauer’s alleged dalliance have continued to dog both media personalities in the ensuing half-decade. In 2016, amid rumors that Morales moved to Los Angeles to get away from Lauer, the duo released statements denying the affair.
“There is absolutely no truth to this completely absurd story. It is damaging, hurtful and extremely sexist. I have proven myself in all aspects of my job as a news professional and journalist, and am adding to my role, taking on three jobs with ‘Access Hollywood Live’ and ‘Access Hollywood,’ in addition to ‘TODAY.’ This move was dictated by me and my desire to grow in my career,” Morales said. “Any insinuations beyond that are uninformed.”
Lauer went on record saying that the stories were “untrue” and that it was “sad that someone would tell lies to harm everyone involved.”
On Wednesday morning, The Daily Beast alleged that the “worst was yet to come” for Lauer.
Perhaps it is.