Matt Lauer Accused of Sexual Harassment, Exposing Himself to Female Employee

Allegations have surfaced following Today co-anchor's NBC News firing

By Jess Cohen Nov 29, 2017 10:46 PMTags

Following Matt Lauer's firing from NBC News over inappropriate sexual behavior, allegations of sexual harassment have surfaced.

The former Today co-anchor is being accused of sexual harassment by multiple women in a report published Wednesday by Variety, following the publication's two-month investigation. During this investigation, Variety states that they've interviewed former and current NBC employees and talked to three women who "identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment by Lauer." The names of the three accusers were not revealed due to fear of "professional repercussions."

One allegation shared in the article states that Lauer allegedly gave a co-worker a sex toy as a present which "included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her."

Another claim in the report states that Lauer allegedly called a separate female employee to his office and "dropped his pants, showing her his penis." When she declined to engage in any sexual activity with Lauer, he allegedly "reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act."

It's also claimed that Lauer would sometimes try to talk to female producers about who they've slept with and it's alleged that "work and sex were intertwined" for Lauer. It's also alleged that Lauer "had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up."

Sources told the publication that Lauer's alleged sexual harassment also occurred while he was on assignment. Over the years while covering the Olympics, it's claimed, Lauer would allegedly "invite" female NBC employees to his hotel room.

According to NBC News, Lauer was fired "after a detailed complaint about inappropriate sexual behavior that took place during the 2014 Sochi Olympics."

In response to the allegations in Variety that "several women" complained to executives about Lauer's behavior, a statement was released by a NBC News spokesperson: "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."

Additionally, The New York Times has published an article that claims NBC received "at least two more complaints related to Mr. Lauer" on Wednesday. According to the publication, one complaint is from a former employee who alleged that in 2011 Lauer called her to his office "then had sex with her." The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, told the NYT that she "felt helpless" because she didn't want to "lose her job." As to why she didn't report the encounter at the time, the woman said she "felt ashamed."

NBC has not commented on the NYT article.

E! News has reached out to Lauer and NBC for comment.

(E! and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)