On Wednesday, longtime NBC anchor Matt Lauer was fired after the network received a complaint alleging sexual misconduct in the workplace. Now he’s speaking out for the first time in a statement read by his former Today cohost Savannah Guthrie on Thursday morning.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Lauer said in the statement. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.”
He continued: “Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.
“Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching, and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.”
Today co-host Hoda Kotb opened Thursday’s show by saying it was a difficult day for the network once again. Since the original allegation, made by a colleague of Lauer’s and said to have been the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC, more allegations have surfaced.
On Wednesday, NBC received at least two more complaints, according to the New York Times. One former anonymous employee alleged that, in 2001, Lauer called her to his office, locked the door, and sexually assaulted her.
Variety also published accounts from several anonymous women who accused the former anchor of sexual harassment on the job. The women said they had complained to executives at the network about his behavior.
(photo via Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)