Though Matt Lauer’s departure from his 20-year post at NBC’s “Today” due to “inappropriate sexual behavior” was a surprise for many, reports piling up on Wednesday pointed to his sleazy side.
TMZ posted a tacky video from 2006 (not meant to be public) in which Lauer said to an unseen colleague, “Pretty sweater. Keep bending over like that. It’s a nice view.” At first, the website thought it was Katie Couric, but it turned out to be Meredith Viera.
However, in 2012, Couric, on Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live,” said Lauer pinched her on the ass a lot during their nine-year run on “Today.”
On Wednesday morning as Today” started, Savannah Guthrie read a memo from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack that said Lauer was being terminated after executives received “a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace” that violated the company’s standards.
Meanwhile, reports in Variety and The New York Times described other stories about Lauer’s alleged lewd behavior, from reportedly giving a colleague a sex toy, to exposing himself, to employing a button under his desk with which he could lock his office door from the inside without getting up.
Lauer, whose contract was $25 million, has not commented.
TV commentator Ana Navarro summed up the situation on Twitter, saying that media personalities Lauer, Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, Glenn Thrush, Billy Bush, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey lost their jobs over sex charges, but that politicians John Conyers, Roy Moore and Donald Trump haven’t.
KEILLOR’S OUT, TOO
On a similar note, Garrison Keillor, the folksy former host and creator of “A Prairie Home Companion,” was ousted by Minnesota Public Radio over “allegations of inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.”
In an email to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper, Keillor said he put his hand on a woman’s bare back: “I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches,” he wrote. He added that he apologized, thought she had forgiven him, and that they “continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.”
He also recently ridiculed the notion that Sen. Al Franken should resign over allegations of sexual harassment, saying that calls for Franken’s head are “pure absurdity.”
Publicist Devan Pucci announced that the sold-out Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco is releasing new $38 tickets for various dates available through Jan. 8; tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday at www.museumoficecream.com.
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