“Today” co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announced Lauer’s firing Wednesday, telling viewers at the top of the show that they were processing his departure but didn’t yet know all of the details.
In a memo to employees sent Wednesday morning, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said the complaint, which was made by a colleague of Lauer’s, prompted a serious review and represented a “clear violation of our company’s standards.”
Lack said it was the first complaint lodged against Lauer, 59, for his behavior since he took over as anchor of the show in 1997, but there was “reason to believe” it may not have been an isolated incident.
“Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender,” Lack said.
Guthrie said, “As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this.”
“I will tell you right now we do not know more than what I just shared with you, but we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come. And we promise we will share that with you.”
Lauer was born in New York City, the son of Marilyn Lauer (née Gentry), a boutique owner, and Jay Robert Lauer, a bicycle-company executive.His parents divorced during his youth, and his father died in 1997. Lauer had become co-host of The Today Show, replacing longtime host Bryant Gumbel in early 1997, not long before his father’s death.
Lauer’s father was of Romanian Jewish heritage, as seen on the Today Show’s Finding Our Roots. Lauer said, “My dad was Jewish. My mom is not. So I was not raised anything. I do feel a desire now to find something spiritual. Getting married and wanting to have kids has something to do with that.
Lauer was married to Emmy award winning television producer Nancy Alspaugh from 1981-1988.
Lauer met Dutch J Crew model Annette Roque on a blind date in July 1997 that stylist Maria Santoro set up. Just five months later they were engaged, and on October 3, 1998, they married in Water Mill, New York. They have a son, Jack Matthew (born 2001), and a daughter, Romy (born 2004). In September 2006, while pregnant with their third child, Roque filed for divorce, citing cruel and inhumane treatment from Lauer, as well as Lauer demonstrating extreme anger and hostility toward her, according to the documents. They reconciled, and son Thijs was born November 2006.
In June 2016, Lauer purchased a property known as Strongheart Manor from Richard Gere for $36.5 million in North Haven, New York.
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