Matt Lauer has responded to NBC Universal's findings in its probe into his sexual misconduct allegations, saying that he still denies certain "aspects" of the claims against him.
NBC Universal released the findings on Wednesday, detailing an intensive internal investigation into Lauer's personal affairs while working at NBC. It has been nearly six months since Lauer was fired for "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," and since then the network has conducted interviews with nearly 70 current and former employees.
Lauer addressed the report in a public statement obtained by Variety. He said that he acknowledged "past relationships" with co-workers, but maintained that he still wouldn't own up to all of the allegations in the report.
“There are aspects of the NBC report with which I clearly disagree," he said. "However, I spent 25 wonderful years at the network, 20 of those at ‘Today,’ and I’m extremely proud of what we accomplished as a team. On November 29, 2017, I was terminated by NBC after admitting to past relationships with co-workers. A day later I took responsibility for those relationships, apologized to the people I hurt and promised to begin the process of repairing the damage I had caused my family,” he said. “I have worked every day since then to honor that promise.”
While NBC Universal may be satisfied with the findings of the probe, many activists in the #MeToo movement and the Time's Up campaign still might not be. Lauer was accused of heinous, at times violent behavior, and NBC's report states that there is no evidence that NBC News leadership and human resources "received complaints" about Lauer's "workplace behavior prior to November 27, 2017."
After speaking to many of the women who helped expose Lauer, the report "confirmed they did not tell their direct manager or anyone else in a position of authority about their sexual encounters with Lauer. Current and former members of NBC News and Today Show leadership, as well as News HR, stated that they had never received a complaint about inappropriate workplace behavior by Lauer, and we did not find any contrary evidence."
This flies in the face of Ann Curry's claim from last month, when she said that she reported a sexual harassment claim against Lauer on another female colleague's behalf, because she was afraid of retribution.
"I told management they had a problem and they needed to keep an eye on him and how he deals with women," Curry told The Washington Post.
Lauer rehashed the scandal last month in a statement to The Washington Post, where he said in stronger terms that many of the claims against him were false or exaggerated.1comments
"I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months. I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost," Lauer said.
"But defending my family now requires me to speak up. I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC. However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false."