MEDIA
11/29/2017 04:00 pm ET Updated Nov 29, 2017

Report Claims Matt Lauer Gave Sex Toy, Exposed Himself To Female Employees (UPDATE)

Variety and The New York Times released reports detailing the "Today" show host's alleged misconduct hours after his firing Wednesday.

Several reports came out on Wednesday detailing alleged misconduct by Matt Lauer, hours after it was announced the anchor was fired from his longtime hosting gig on “Today.”

A report from Variety, which the outlet said was the result of a two-month-long investigation into Lauer’s behavior, said the “Today” host once gave a colleague an explicit note and sex toy. Lauer also reportedly showed his penis to a female employee in his office at NBC, and had quizzed female producers in the office about whom they’d slept with.

Three women told Variety that they were victims of sexual harassment by Lauer.

Variety interviewed dozens of current and former staffers at NBC as part of their investigation.

“Their stories have been corroborated by friends or colleagues that they told at the time. They have asked for now to remain unnamed, fearing professional repercussions,” the publication reported.

Since Lauer’s firing on Wednesday, NBC has received at least two more complaints about the TV host, an unnamed source told The New York Times.

One of the complaints came from a former employee, who asked not to have her name published. The woman told the Times that, in 2001, Lauer had summoned her to his office and had sex with her. She felt powerless, fearing repercussions for her career, and didn’t report it at the time because she felt ashamed.

“We can say unequivocally, that, prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer’s conduct,” an NBC spokesperson said in a statement

"Today" show host Matt Lauer on Thursday, Nov. 16.
NBC via Getty Images
"Today" show host Matt Lauer on Thursday, Nov. 16.

According to the Variety report, Lauer had an office in a secluded area, as he was apparently “paranoid about being followed by tabloid reporters.”

In the office, he had a button under his desk, which the report said “allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up.” Two women who said they were sexually harassed by Lauer told the outlet that the button allowed him to initiate inappropriate contact without others seeing nor being aware of what was happening. 

Employees at “Today” told Variety that at least one of the show’s anchors would gossip about stories she’d heard pertaining to Lauer’s behavior.

One former employee also noted Lauer’s cruelty toward her, saying that he once openly made a remark to Bryant Gumbel about her cold sore. “I did this special with him and we are traveling and I had a cold sore on my lip and I heard him say to Bryant Gumbel, ‘She has this really ugly cold sore on her lip,’ like that was something to be ashamed of. He was just really cruel,” she said.

“Management sucks there,” said an anonymous former reporter. “They protected the shit out of Matt Lauer.”

A rep for Lauer did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

This article has been updated with new information reported by The New York Times

HuffPost

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