“I think he’ll retire. He should anyway. He had made his money and said all he wanted to do is be with the kids and golf,” the source told the magazine. “He wanted to run away and live with the money he had made and be with his family. This is definitely not the way he wanted to go out, but I don’t think he feels the need to be on air like some people, doing specials. I think he’ll have a quiet life and go golfing a ton.”
"That marriage was never good. They lived totally separate lives," the colleague told PEOPLE.
“He is a player. Not a predator but a player. He didn’t have to leer or hunt, he was just charming and people wanted to listen because he could hold a room with his sense of humor," the source told PEOPLE.
The source said Lauer was helpful to his staffers, even paying for a laptop for a crew member's wife undergoing chemotherapy.
“How can you really understand consent when he is the main anchor? Unless it was going to be a super serious relationship and be disclosed, then he was more interested in realizing nothing was forever. He loved his kids and had an arrangement with his wife," the source told PEOPLE. "I don’t doubt that Matt had inappropriate relationships with people at work. That part I’m not denying. He would admit it.”
The source, who said he never witnessed Lauer "being anything other than, ‘I got your back,' " said he recently spoke with Lauer through emails.
The source said Lauer was considering leaving Today after his contract expired.
In a poorly-timed story published this week, the tabloid InTouch Weekly claimed Lauer was leaving Today because waking up at 3 a.m. has "taken a toll" on the 59-year-old. The tabloid's source said Lauer wanted to spend more time with his kids.
Lauer was fired for alleged sexual harassment on Wednesday. NBC News will not pay Lauer the rest of his $20 million per year salary.
Photo Credit: NBC