The Today show team was just as shocked as the rest of the country when they found out Matt Lauer had been fired from the show for "inappropriate sexual behavior," PEOPLE reports.
"It’s like a death in the family. Everybody is crying," a show source told the magazine. "No one knows what the f--k happened. It came out of nowhere."
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb shared the news Wednesday morning at the top of the show. Guthrie read a statement from NBC News chairman Andrew Lack, who said that officials received a "detailed complaint" from a colleague accusing Lauer of inappropriate sexual behavior.
"As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment," Lack's statement read. "While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."
The source said the show's crew was totally surprised by the firing, saying there were no whisperings or rumors in the days leading up to Wednesday.
"Everyone wants to know what is going on," the source said. "Matt was really popular around here."
Guthrie told viewers on-air that she and Kotb learned of Lauer's firing moments before the show began.
"We are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt – he is my dear, dear friend and my partner, and he has been loved by many, many people here," Guthrie said. "And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell."
While Lauer's co-hosts may not have been totally aware of Lauer's alleged sexual misconduct, other news outlets report that they had been investigating claims into multiple reports of "serious" sexual harassment allegations against Lauer.
Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh took to Twitter shortly after the news broke, stating that he and his colleagues have been investigating Lauer for two months, writing, "For the last two months, @EWagmeister and I have been reporting on a story about serious sexual harassment allegations against Lauer. There were multiple victims."
Setoodeh went on to allege that NBC was aware of the investigation.
The New York Times is also said to have been investigating Lauer, CNN reports.
While it's not yet clear if NBC fired Lauer as a result of the journalistic probes or whether the network acted independently, other sources report that Lauer allegedly assaulted a female colleague during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
An NBC insider told Page Six that the alleged victim complained to the network's HR department on Monday, and that she did not talk to any other media outlets. The source also added that the victim is accusing Lauer of acting inappropriately toward other women as well.
"This happened so quickly. She didn’t go to the media, she made a complaint to NBC’s human resources, and her evidence was so compelling that Matt was fired on Tuesday night," the source said. "The victim says she has evidence that this has also happened to other women, but so far we don’t have evidence of that."
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