Variety reporter: Current, former NBC anchors knew of Lauer’s behavior
A Variety reporter who spoke to accusers of former NBC anchor Matt Lauer said both current and former co-anchors were aware of the harassment allegations despite what some have said publicly, according to an interview conducted on CNN Thursday morning.
The pushback from Variety reporter Ramin Setoodeh comes one day after the 59-year-old Lauer was fired from NBC after more than two decades at the network amid sexual harassment allegations.
“Do you have any reporting that suggested that any of the co-anchors at NBC knew about things like this?” Setoodeh was asked CNN “New Day” anchor Alisyn Camerota.
“According to our sources, the co-anchors were aware of some of these allegations. And so, they’re having trouble reckoning what some of these anchors said in private conversations versus what was said on T.V. [Wednesday],” he responded.
“Current anchors or former anchors?” followed Camerota.
“Both,” Setoodeh, who also serves as Variety’s New York bureau chief, responded.
“Current and former anchors of Matt Lauer’s knew that he was doing things that rose to the level of this kind of harassment and lewd behavior, not just extramarital affairs?” clarified the anchor.
“Yes, not just extramarital affairs. Colleagues were told and — in fact, not only were told or were aware — they were spreading these stories among the staff,” replied Setoodeh.
After confirming to Camerota that colleagues were openly gossiping about Lauer, Setoodeh was asked if the women felt “betrayed” by their co-workers.
“The women that we’ve talked to feel, I think, hopeful that this action was taken so quickly,” he explained. “But there are questions about what happens going forward and there’s a lack of trust in the current management and the current environment given that this was allowed to go on for so long.”
Lauer exited NBC as the highest-paid anchor in broadcast news at an estimated $28 million per year.
The former “Today” host issued an apology Thursday morning,
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry,” Lauer said after being silent on the matter on Wednesday. “As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.”
“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,” he continued.
“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,” he added. “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 the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace,” Lauer concluded.
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