Matt Lauer Reportedly Had a Button Under His Desk to Lock His Door for ‘Privacy’
A few hours after news broke of Matt Lauer’s
unceremonious firing from NBC News, Variety
investigation into Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct. The
allegations, all of which were provided to Variety
anonymously, are truly awful. The worst detail by far is this:
according to two of the women accusing Lauer of sexual assault,
he had a button under his desk that locked the door from
the inside, allowing him the “privacy” to “welcome female
employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing
nobody could walk in on him.”
Matt Lauer, one of NBC News’s leading anchors, has been fired
from NBC over a sexual misconduct…
The button story, which is on par with the other disgusting
abuses of power wrought by other bad men, is just one of many
allegations presented in Variety’s reporting.
- During his tenure as co-host of Today, Lauer
reportedly gave a woman colleague a sex toy, along with a note
about “how he wanted to use it on her.”
- Another woman colleague recalls a time when she was
“summoned” to Lauer’s office; he dropped his pants, showed her
his penis, and then proceeded to chastise her for not engaging
in a sex act.
- Lauer would, according to anonymous sources, ask women
producers who they’d slept with, and engage his colleagues in a
rousing game of “Fuck, Marry, Kill”—a thinly veiled-ruse for
sharing which of his colleagues he’d like to sleep with.
Lauer’s reported sexual misconduct followed a pattern—as a
public figure and the prize of NBC’s family-friendly news
empire, any whiff of public-facing scandal for Lauer would be
disastrous. Therefore, Lauer focused his attentions and
ministrations within the company.
Several employees recall how he paid intense attention to a
young woman on his staff that he found attractive, focusing
intently on her career ambitions. And he asked the same
producer to his hotel room to deliver him a pillow, according
to sources with knowledge of the interaction.
This was part of a pattern. According to multiple accounts,
independently corroborated by Variety, Lauer would
invite women employed by NBC late at night to his hotel room
while covering the Olympics in various cities over the years.
He later told colleagues how his wife had accompanied him to
the London Olympics because she didn’t trust him to travel
Producers told Variety that Lauer would dismiss
stories about infidelity and cheating husbands, using his clout
to squash stories as he saw fit. Lauer’s position at the
company also allowed him to abuse his power; several of the
women interviewed for Variety’s story said that their
complaints to network executives fell on deaf ears, in part
because the advertising dollars attached to Today were
too valuable to jeopardize.
However, as the infidelities of famous men in media and other
positions of power came to national attention, Lauer had to
find a way to address these issues. Consider his
interview with BIll O’Reilly in September, six months after
O’Reilly’s dismissal from Fox. O’Reilly had ample time to try
and save face, promote his book, and grovel for forgiveness. He
was given a chance by a man who, less than two months later,
would find himself in similar shoes.
Read the full report