Matt Lauer’s former ‘Today’ show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie read the statement at the top of the NBC morning show Thursday.
Lauer, 59, who co-anchored Today for more than 20 years, has also broken his silence and released a statement Wednesday.
NBC News’ Stephanie Gosk says there are as many as eight victims
Gosk appeared on Megyn Kelly Today Thursday fielding questions from the host about her Lauer investigation. Gosk said that are as many as eight accusers, though tallying is difficult as the accounts have been anonymous.
Several accusers told Variety “they complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, which fell on deaf ears.” NBC has denied this telling NBC News “current NBC News management was never made aware.”
After Kelly brought up the report of sexual assault from The New York Times, Gosk said the New York City Police Department and police departments in Long Island have been contacted and she is unaware of any open criminal investigations for Lauer.
Per an emailed statement from the New York Police Department to USA TODAY: “The NYPD is not investigating any complaints against Matt Lauer at this time.”
Kelly closed the segment by inviting women who have come forward with accusations for Lauer to her show.
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Former Today show executive producer says he never knew of any complaints against Lauer
CNN President Jeff Zucker, who served as an executive producer for Today, called Lauer’s alleged behavior “incredibly, incredibly disturbing” at Business Insider’s Ignition conference Thursday.
Zucker said that during his 25-year career at NBC Universal he was never aware of any grievances with Lauer.
“To my knowledge, there was never a complaint about Matt,” he said. “There was never a suggestion of that kind of deviant/ predatory behavior not even a whisper of it. Nothing like that.”
“I’ve known Matt for 25 years, and I didn’t know this Matt,” he said.
Lauer says he is ‘truly sorry’ in a statement
His former Today show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, who announced Lauer’s termination on air Wednesday, read the statement at the top of the NBC morning show Thursday.
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
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Lauer said in his statement. “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.
Regarding the allegations themselves, Lauer said, “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. 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.”
Reaction to the firing of Matt Lauer on the street at the ‘Today’ show.
In a memo sent by NBC News chairman Andy Lack notifying staff of Lauer’s termination, he said the organization had only received one complaint against Lauer in his tenure but was “presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Shortly after news of Lauer’s firing broke, Variety published a report which focused on three women who identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment by Lauer.
Later Wednesday evening, The New York Times published a piece reporting that the network had received, at a minimum, two additional complaints.
Gosk confirmed on Today Thursday that NBC News had received additional complaints from two women alleging inappropriate sexual behavior from Lauer.
So far the accusers have not wished to be identified.
Contributing: Cara Kelly
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