Matt Lauer may not be planning a return to his TV career anytime soon, despite his recent assurances to fans in New York City.
Lauer made headlines last month when he reportedly spoke to fans at Donohue's Steak House in Manhattan. Page Six reported at the time that a group of middle-aged women had run into Lauer at his familiar haunt, and complained that they missed seeing him on TV every morning.
"I've been busy being a dad. But don't worry, I'll be back on TV," the former anchor reportedly said at the time. Now, however, sources tell PEOPLE that he has changed his tune.
"Matt doesn't really socialize much with his friends anymore. He's been staying close to home and laying really low and focusing all his energy on the kids," an insider reported. "If he does go out, it's for them. He supports his kids' events."
The source said that Lauer is living at his family home in the Hamptons, along with his three children and his estranged wife, Annette Roque. Despite the recent reports to the contrary, the insider said that he "is not planning any kind of TV comeback right now."
According to the source, Lauer is still mired in guilt over the many claims of sexual assault and misconduct made against him. They said that he "is truly devastated and wants to make up for anything he has done to hurt people."
The insider made no attempt to downplay Lauer's issues with Roque, however. The long-time couple are reportedly close to a divorce settlement, aided by a "post-nuptial" agreement they signed after Roque's previous divorce filings in 2006, which she eventually dropped.
"But the damage in his marriage can't be fixed, and each would be better off to move on," the source said. "They know this, but the kids are important to both of them."3comments
The source's words conflict with recent quotes attributed to Lauer himself. In addition to the steak house sighting, he gave an interview on Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint back in July, insinuating that the damage to his public image during the Me Too Movement allowed the country's Walking Access Commission to try and get an easement, allowing them greater access to his massive property in New Zealand.
"I think this is why this fight has been chosen now," he said, referring to his personal bad press. Lauer was subjected to a "good character test" in order to purchase the 26,500-acre property.