The ex-wife of Matt Lauer has spoken out—two days after it was announced that the longtime “Today” show host was fired over allegations of sexual misconduct.
Nancy Alspaugh, who was married to Lauer between 1981 and 1989, told Entertainment Tonight that the ex-morning show host is “incredibly nice, incredibly charming and incredibly willing to help anybody.”
— Intl. Business Times (@IBTimes) December 1, 2017
The allegations against him are “out of character,” adding that “some of the things that are being stated [about Lauer] may not be true.”
“I was shocked because he’s been such a stalwart at that network and in that job,” Alspaugh added. “He’s been the best person that’s ever held that job and I couldn’t imagine that anything that he would have done—that would have been so out of character for him—that would have caused that reaction.”
Alspaugh said she spoke with Lauer, 59, about a week ago, saying that a reporter working on a story about him approached her.
She said, “I never saw him as a power monger or somebody who would abuse his position in any way.”
Following her meeting with the reporter, she told ET that “I called him to let him know that a reporter had shown up at my door and was saying that some things were going to be coming out.”
“And when I called him, he thanked me for the call, and I got the contact of the reporter and he said of course none of it was true,” she said.
Lauer apologized Thursday, via “Today” show hosts. “There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” he said. “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.”
Lauer’s wife, Annette Roque, hasn’t made any public statements on the firing.
The news was announced by “Today” co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb at the start of the talk show, a staple of U.S. morning television for more than six decades that, NBC says, averages more than 4 million viewers, Reuters reported.
A statement from Matt Lauer: “There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions…” pic.twitter.com/f93rHXqKQD
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 30, 2017
“We just learned this moments ago just this morning,” Guthrie said, visibly shaken. “As I‘m sure you can imagine we are devastated.”
Lack’s statement did not say who made the accusation, but promised that NBC News would cover Lauer’s firing in “as transparent a manner as we can.”
The woman had met with New York Times reporters on Monday before meeting with NBC’s human resources and legal departments that evening to share her allegation, the Times reported, saying that she said she was not ready then to publicly identify herself.
Her Washington-based lawyer, Ari Wilkenfeld, said the meeting with NBC officials lasted several hours.
“In fewer than 35 hours, NBC investigated and removed Mr. Lauer,” Wilkenfeld wrote in a statement. “Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.”
The complaint said the sexual misconduct occurred while Lauer and the female colleague were covering the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics in Russia and continued after the Games, NBC News reporter Stephanie Gosk said on air.
Reuters contributed to this report.