As Matt Lauer’s long history of sexual debauchery comes to light, more details on his private, strained marriage to former Dutch model Annette Roque reveal an even more complicated story.
A former longtime colleague of Lauer’s told PEOPLE that his marriage “was never good.”
The insider said the veteran Today host has a reputation as a ladies’ man, which bothered his wife even before they married in 1988.
“He was a player when she met him and she knew that,” the colleague admitted. “Even many years ago, he was a flirt, a philanderer. He did his thing.”
During their marriage, one insider at NBC claimed that Lauer “regularly cheated on his wife.”
“Everyone knew. His wife lives in the Hamptons and he lives in the city, but we never heard he made unwanted moves,” the source said.
Roque field for divorce from Lauer in 2006, citing her husband's "controlling and cruel" behavior, "continual mental abuse" and valuing his work over family, but it was withdrawn three weeks later.
The couple remained married but lived "separate" lives, with Roque living full-time with their three children in the Hamptons while Lauer lived in Manhattan five days a week.
Many anonymous colleagues also claimed they knew Lauer was loose in his relationships but they always seemed to be consensual encounters.
Still, multiple women allege that the 20-year NBC News broadcaster behaved inappropriately toward them, in acts ranging from exposing himself to gifting sex toys to assaulting a coworker.
He was terminated by the network on November 28 after a colleague filed a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” during which she presented overwhelming evidence, officials said. It was later confirmed that the incident in question took place while Lauer was covering the 2014 Sochi Olympics and continued afterward.
Despite Lauer’s professional and moral downfall, an insider to the couple said he and Roque are still living together and are working things out.
“They’re taking it day by day right now,” the source said. “His focus is on his family.”
Roque’s father denies the story and claims his daughter is planning to leave the longtime Today host.
Neither Lauer or Roque have spoken out on the state of their marriage, but both were spotted in separate appearances Wednesday without their wedding rings.