Nancy Alspaugh is speaking out in defense of her ex-husband, Matt Lauer.
Alspaugh was married to the disgraced former “TODAY” co-host from 1981 to 1988 and opened up to “Entertainment Tonight” about her support for Lauer.
“I was shocked because he’s been such a stalwart at that network and in that job,” she told the publication following the news of his dismissal. “He’s been the best person that’s ever held that job, and I couldn’t imagine that anything that he would have done — that would have been so out of character for him — that would have caused that reaction.”
Alspaugh described her ex-husband as “incredibly nice, incredibly charming and incredibly willing to help anybody” and said that she never witnessed him abuse his power.
“That’s why it’s so shocking, I think, for the people that really know him and really love him, and they want to get the good stuff out. I want to get out the fact that he made a contribution to my nonprofit, that he helped me when my husband died,” she continued. “The selfless, giving part of him, which people tend to forget whenever this kind of a situation comes up. He would give you the shirt off his back if you really needed it. He did that for everybody. From the lowest person on set to, you know, the highest powers.”
She told “ET” that in the wake of Lauer’s firing, she has reached out to her ex.
“I just haven’t heard back, but of course I’ve given him my support,” she said, adding, “The family is kind of gathering inward and trying to make the best of a really horrible situation.”
On Thursday, Lauer released a statement about the allegations that was shared on “TODAY.”
“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,” he began. “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.”
Lauer wrapped up the statement, “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.”