Guthrie has been "affected the most" by NBC chairman Andrew Lack's decision to fire Lauer, according to an Entertainment Tonight source. Guthrie is "still processing everything" and was "close personally and professionally" with Lauer.
"She’s not herself. She’s visibly shaken," the source told ET. Guthrie looked "sad, in deep thought and preoccupied" when the camera was rolling, in stark contract to her usual self. "She is doing her best to stay upbeat and jolly on-air," the source said.
Guthrie appeared to be fighting back tears Wednesday morning when she read Lack's memo to staff to open Today.
“For the moment, all we can say is that 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 told viewers. "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."
Lauer was fired after NBC received a complaint of sexual misconduct against the long-time Today anchor, dating to the 2014 Winter Olympics. Since then, more women have come forward with claims against Lauer. However, NBC said that it never received complaints about Lauer's alleged sexual misconduct before this week.
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC," Lauer said in his first statement since he was fired.
"Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed," he continued. "I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly."
On Thursday morning, Guthrie was criticized for her interview with Marion Brown, a former staffer for Rep. John Conyers who accused the Congressman of sexual harassment. Guthrie was accused of being "bitter" towards the victim, with one person suggesting the interview "felt like your revenge for your coworker and that you blame the victims."
Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBC