Lauer seeking $30 million after firing: report
Lawyers representing former NBC host Matt Lauer are reportedly seeking to get the longtime anchor upwards of $30 million after he was fired this week over allegations of sexual misconduct.
Page Six reports that Lauer’s team is seeking for NBC to pay the host for the remainder of his $20 million-per-year contract, which still had a year and a half left before he was fired.
“They are currently looking at his contract and determining whether the claims against him, which clearly would affect any moral clause in his contract and his ensuing termination would cut off his contractual rights to be paid through to the end of his contract,” a source close to Lauer’s team told the outlet.
Morality clauses are often added to contracts, allowing companies to fire employees for publicly embarrassing situations that damage the company’s image.
NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack announced Lauer’s firing in a memo to employees Wednesday morning, suggesting that more allegations would likely be uncovered.
Reports emerged later that day on other allegations of sexual assault and harassment against the former NBC anchor dating back to 2001.
“Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender,” Lack said in the statement.
“We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization — and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.”
Lauer himself apologized for his actions in a statement Thursday, but simultaneously said that some of his accusers’ accounts were “untrue.”
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Lauer 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.”
“I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love,” he added. “I thank them for their patience and grace.”