A video has surfaced showing recently fired “Today” host Matt Lauer making a comment about a female employee’s appearance, with multiple media outlets identifying the woman as former “Today” co-host Katie Couric.
Lauer was fired Wednesday from NBC after sexual harassment allegations were filed against him regarding alleged inappropriate conduct during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The video, which was obtained by TMZ, shows the cast of “Today” during a break while the show had cut to a commercial. TMZ reported that the video was from October 2006.
“Pretty sweater,” Lauer said to an off-camera employee TMZ identified as Couric.
“Keep bending over like that. It’s a nice view,” he added.
If the woman replied, it was not audible on the tape.
TMZ also unearthed a 2012 clip of Couric appearing on Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live.” She was asked to cite Lauer’s “most annoying habit.”
“He pinches me on the a– a lot,” Couric said.
NBC News Chairman Andy Lack sent a memo to staff on Wednesday that read, “On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”
Some details about allegations against Lauer that were separate from the incident for which he was fired were later reported by Variety, which said it had been previously investigating Lauer’s conduct.
Variety reported that Lauer gave a colleague a sex toy as a gift along with detailed instructions of how he wanted her to use it.
The outlet also claimed that Lauer at one point “summoned a different female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis. After the employee declined to do anything, visibly shaken, he reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.”
The New York Times reported Wednesday that two more women have come forward with claims about Lauer’s behavior, including one who said Lauer cajoled her into having sex with him in 2001.
Ari Wilkenfeld, who represents the woman whose complaint resulted in Lauer being fired, did not identify his client.
“My client and I met with representatives from NBC’s Human Resources and Legal Departments at 6 p.m. on Monday for an interview that lasted several hours. 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,” he said.
“While I am encouraged by NBC’s response to date, I am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing.”
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