The former NBC employee, who wished to remain unnamed, revealed that Lauer called her to his office to discuss a story during a normal workday in 2001. When she arrived, he locked the door using a mechanism built into his desk.
Lauer then allegedly asked her to unbutton her blouse, which she complied with fearing she would lose her job if she did not. He then got up from his desk, pulled down the woman's pants, bent her over a chair and had sex with her.
The woman passed out during the encounter. After she woke up, Lauer's assistant took her to a nurse to receive care.
Lauer never made any other sexual advances on her and did not acknowledge the incident ever again. She did not report the incident to NBC because she felt "ashamed" that she didn't do more to stop Lauer from committing the assault.
She told her husband (now ex-husband) about the incident at the time and also told a friend five years ago. Both parties corroborated the accuser's account.
After news of Lauer's firing broke, the woman contacted her former supervisor, who is currently an NBC employee. Her account was passed on the network's human resources department, who then contacted her to investigate.
NBC announced the TODAY host's unexpected firing on Wednesday morning, leaving many of his co-workers in shock. His termination reportedly stemmed from inappropriate photos and texts sent to an intern.
"On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer," NBC Chairman Andy Lack said. "It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment. 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."
Photo Credit: NBC / Nathan Congleton