Former “Today” show anchor Natalie Morales said she’s “in shock” after it was announced that longtime “Today” host Matt Lauer was fired over allegations of sexual misconduct.
“I woke up to the news like everyone this morning—just in shock. The “Today” show, of course, has been my family for 16 years now and it is difficult,” Morales said on her show, Access Hollywood Live. “I think everyone is saying how difficult it is to process the news.”
The chairman of NBC News, Andy Lack, sent a memo to the network’s employees saying that Lauer would be terminated from the company for a “violation of our company’s standards.”
An employee and her lawyer met with NBC representatives Monday night, the lawyer told CNN, and gave a detailed complaint.
“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,” Lack’s statement reads.
“Today” show hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb broke the news of his firing live on the air on Wednesday morning, Nov. 29.
It was rumored that Morales left the “Today” show to join “Access Hollywood Live” because of the ending if an inappropriate relationship with Lauer. Both of them deny those rumors.
“I have personally dealt with rumors in the past for years that were hurtful to me, my family—they diminished my hard work. I’ve addressed those rumors head-on in the past.”
“That is not the story today. The story today is the courage of a colleague who did come forward, and when and if she wants to tell her story publicly, I’m sure she will. But it did take a lot of courage for her to come forward. It was no doubt a very painful decision.”
Savannah Guthrie begins the @TODAYshow by reading Andy Lack's memo about the firing of Matt Later.
Adds that they just learned this news moments before…Guthrie's voice shaking a little as she reads.
— Dianne Gallagher (@DianneG) November 29, 2017
Lauer’s unnamed accuser released a statement through her attorney, Ari Wilkenfeld.
“Over the course of several hours, my client detailed egregious acts of sexual harassment and misconduct by Mr. Lauer. In fewer than 35 hours, NBC investigated and removed Mr. Lauer,” Wilkenfeld told CNN.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 29, 2017
He added: “Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly and responsibly, as all companies should when confronted with credible allegations about sexual misconduct in the workplace.”
He noted that NBC needs to “repair the damage done to my client—their employee—and any other women who may come forward. While I am impressed by NBC’s response to date, I am awed by the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than asking the company do the right thing. This is how the system should work.”
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