Matt Lauer fired: A look back at his past scandals

Today show fans were stunned on Wednesday morning, when co-anchor Savannah Guthrie announced that Matt Lauer had been fired from the long-running morning show for "inappropriate sexual behavior."

NBC News chairman Andy Lack also revealed in a letter to staff that Lauer had been accused by a female colleague of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," and after a "serious review," called Lauer's alleged actions a "clear violation of our company's standards." Lauer was then immediately fired.

"While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with a reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident," Lack wrote. "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. 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.”

Though the news is shocking, this isn't the first time Lauer has been involved in a scandal. Let's take a look back at a few of Lauer's past headlines.

2006: Lauer's wife, Annette Roque, reportedly accuses him of "cruel and inhumane acts" in divorce filing.

20 PHOTOS
Matt Lauer and his family through the years
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Matt Lauer and his family through the years
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Jack Matthew Lauer, Romy Lauer, Thijs Lauer and Matt Lauer attend The Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on January 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 12: Annette Roque and Matt Lauer attend Apollo in the Hamptons 2017: hosted by Ronald O. Perelman at The Creeks on August 12, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Apollo)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: (L-R) Chris Rock, Jack Matthew Lauer, Romy Lauer, Thijs Lauer and Matt Lauer attend The Philadelphia 76ers Vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on January 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 30: Annette Lauer and Matt Lauer attend the 2015 Hamptons Classic Grand Prix on August 30, 2015 in Bridgehampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - JULY 24: Matt Lauer (L) and Thijs Lauer attend the 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Special Screening Hosted By Alec Baldwin, Arrivals at United Artists East Hampton Cinema on July 24, 2015 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures Studios)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22: Annette Roque and Matt Lauer attend the 2013 Animal League America Celebrity gala at The Waldorf=Astoria on November 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 17: Matt Lauer and son Jack attend the 65th Anniversary Artists & Writers Celebrity Softball Game at Herrick Park on August 17, 2013 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
APRIL 26: Annette Lauer and Matt Lauer attend MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE honors MATT LAUER and DEBRA L LEE at St Regis Hotel N.Y.C. on April 26, 2007. (Photo by CHANCE YEH /Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 25: Matt Lauer and Jack Lauer attend the Milwaukee Bucks vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on March 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque Lauer during 2nd Annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball - Arrivals at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 28: (ITALY OUT; NEWSDAY, NY DAILY NEWS OUT) TV personality Matt Lauer (L) walks on Park Ave. with his son Jack February 28, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 19: NBC 'Today' show host Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque arrive for Time Magazine Celebrates New 'Time 100' list of Most Influential People In The World at the Time Warner Center on April 19, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
Annette Lauer, Elmo and Matt Lauer at the Cipriani in New York City, New York (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Annette Roque and Matt Lauer during ASPCA Bergh Ball Honoring Roger A. Caras at Plaza Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Matt Lauer and Annette Roque at GQ Man of the Year, New York, October 21, 1998. (Photo by Steve Eichner/Getty Images)
NANTUCKET - JUNE 19: Nantucket Film Festival. Matt Lauer and then-fianc� Annette Roque at Bob and Suzanne Wright?s party at the Nantucket Film Festival, Nantucket, MA June 19, 1998 (Photo by Lindsay Brice/Getty Images)
TODAY -- 'Where in the World is Matt Lauer? 1998: Cairo' -- Pictured: NBC News' Matt Lauer, girlfriend Annette Roque in front of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut beneath the cliffs at Deir el Bahari in Giza, Egypt on April 27, 1998 -- Photo by: NBC/NBC NewsWire
TODAY -- 'Where in the World is Matt Lauer? 1998: Cairo' -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC News' Matt Lauer, girlfriend Annette Roque in front of the Great Sphinx of Giza, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and the Pyramid of Khafre in Giza, Egypt on April 27, 1998 -- Photo by: NBC/NBC NewsWire
Matt Lauer, co-host of the NBC television network morning program "Today" arrives with his wife, Dutch model Annette Roque, at the DreamWorks studio party following the 72nd annual Academy Awards March 26 at Spago in Beverly Hills. The DreamWorks film "American Beauty" won five Academy Awards including Best Picture. FSP
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According to The New York Daily News, Roque reportedly filed for divorce against her husband in September 2006, before eventually withdrawing the documents. According to paperwork first obtained by the National Enquirer, Roque -- who has been married to Lauer since 1998 -- accused her husband of "cruel and inhumane acts."

Accusations reportedly included Lauer being controlling over “even the smallest decisions” having to do with such issues as finances and decorating, and Lauer demonstrating “extreme anger and hostility” toward Roque.

Roque and Lauer ended up reconciling and share three kids together. 

2012: Lauer criticized after Ann Curry leaves 'Today.'

32 PHOTOS
Ann Curry and Matt Lauer together
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Ann Curry and Matt Lauer together
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry, Elmo and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Al Roker, Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry, Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Al Roker, Ann Curry, Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry, Matt Lauer and Natalie Morales appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Al Roker, Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry, Matt Lauer and Tamron Hall appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry, Matt Lauer and Natalie Morales appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- 60th Anniversary Party -- Pictured: (l-r) Al Roker, Ann Curry, Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Kathie Lee Gifford at the Edison Ballroom in New York to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the TODAY show on January 12, 2012 -- Photo by: Charles Sykes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer during the 'Today' show's 60th anniversary episode -- Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry, Matt Lauer and Natalie Morales appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: (L-R) Today Show anchors Al Roker, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Natalie Morales, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Savannah Guthrie pose for pictures at The Empire State Building in honor of the 60th Anniversary of 'Today' on January 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer during the 'Today' show's 60th anniversary episode -- Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Martha Stewart, Natalie Morales and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: (L-R) TV personalities Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Al Roker promote 'From Yesterday to TODAY: Six Decades of America's Favorite Morning Show' at the Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue on November 17, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer as Prince William and Ann Curry as Kate Middleton appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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Ann Curry's firing from Today in June 2012 after only a year as the show's co-host drew plenty of criticism, and in New York Times reporter Brian Stelter's 2013 book, Top of the Morning, Stelter alleged Curry's dismissal was planned well in advance. 

"It wasn't obvious at the time, but Ann Curry was a dead woman walking," Stelter wrote. "She was never really given a chance to co-host the show. She was being undermined the whole time."

"Ann Curry's last few days at Today were gut-wrenching," Stelter also alleged. "I was watching outside from the windows and I could see that Matt Lauer and Ann Curry would never speak to each other except when they had to on camera."

Lauer was blamed by media critics for both a ratings decline at the Today show and the mishandling of Curry's departure, and addressed it during a March 2013 interview with Howard Kurtz, the Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast and Newsweek.

"I don't think the show and the network handled the transition well. You don't have to be Einstein to know that," he acknowledged. "It clearly did not help us. We were seen as a family, and we didn't handle a family matter well."

"It was a hard time for everybody," he added about Curry's departure. "We were getting kicked around a lot. Some of it was self-inflicted and perhaps deserved."

2012: Katie Couric says Lauer "pinched her on the a**" a lot.

Katie Couric hosted Today with Lauer for nine years, and in a 2012 appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, claimed Lauer repeatedly touched her butt. When Cohen asked what Lauer's most annoying habit was, Couric replied, "He pinches me on the a** a lot."

2012: Lauer criticized over asking Anne Hathaway about her 'wardrobe malfunction.'

Lauer's December 2012 Today interview with Anne Hathaway went viral, when he asked her about paparazzi photos taken under her skirt as she stepped out of her car at the NYC premiere of Les Miserables. 

“Seen a lot of you lately,” Lauer joked as he began the interview. “Let’s just get it out of the way. You had a little wardrobe malfunction the other night. What’s the lesson learned from something like that, other than that you keep smiling, which you’ll always do.” 

Hathaway quickly stressed that she wasn't a willing participant in the pictures, and brought the conversation back to the film she was promoting.

"Well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident," Hathaway responded. "It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment, and rather than delete it and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which brings us back to Les Mis, because that’s what the character [Fantine] is. She is someone who is forced to sell sex to benefit her child because she has nothing and there’s no social safety net, so yeah -- let’s get back to Les Mis.”

2016: Matt Lauer and Natalie Morales deny they had an affair.

41 PHOTOS
Natalie Morales out and about
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Natalie Morales out and about
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 25: Natalie Morales attends the International Women's Media Foundation 2017 Courage In Journalism Awards at NeueHouse Hollywood on October 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 28: Natalie Morales and Alex Rodriguez pose for a photo at TruFusion on September 28, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for TruFusion)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: TV personalities Kit Hoover (L) and Natalie Morales attend the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: TV personality Natalie Morales attends the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 06: TV personality Natalie Morales accepts her award onstage during the 42nd Annual Gracie Awards, hosted by The Alliance for Women in Media at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on June 6, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Alliance for Women in Media)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 06: TV personality Natalie Morales attends the 42nd Annual Gracie Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on June 6, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush Hager, Natalie Morales, Dylan Dreyer and Savannah Guthrie on Friday, May19, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 20: TV host Natalie Morales attends the 2017 Women's Guild Cedars-Sinai Annual Spring Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on April 20, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 30: Host Natalie Morales speaks onstage at the CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace during CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, on March 30, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 29: Moderator Natalie Morales speaks onstage at CinemaCon 2017 Universal Pictures Invites You to a Special Presentation Featuring Footage from its Upcoming Slate at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace during CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, on March 29, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 14: Natalie Morales attends the finale screening of 'This Is Us' at Directors Guild Of America on March 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
THIS IS US -- 'This is Us' Finale Event at The DGA, Los Angeles, March 14, 2017 -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Kit Hoover -- (Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JANUARY 18: Natalie Morales is seen during the 14th Annual NATPE Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award Ceremony at the Fontainebleau Hotel on January 18, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: Journalist Natalie Morales attends The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globe Party, presented with FIJI Water, Grey Goose Vodka, Lindt Chocolate, and Moroccan Oil at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: TV personalities Al Roker (L) and Natalie Morales attend FOX and FX's 2017 Golden Globe Awards after party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Journalist/TV anchor Natalie Morales arrives at the Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage) *** Local caption *** Natalie Morales
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) CEO Black Girls Code Kimberly Bryant, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Intel Corporation Danielle Brown, TV Hosts Natalie Morales and Designer Rebecca Minkoff pose backstage at Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 LIVE Summit at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/Getty Images for Glamour)
NAPA, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Journalist Natalie Morales attends the Celebrity Tributes at the 6th Annual Napa Valley Film Festival at the Lincoln Theatre on November 10, 2016 in Napa, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT -- 'Super Duper Store Night' Episode 502 -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Ne-Yo, Cheri Oteri -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: TV personality Natalie Morales attends the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 13: (BROADCAST - OUT) Hosts, Craig Melvin, Natalie Morales and Al Roker pose for a photo through Olympic rings on the Today show set on Copacabana Beach on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29: Journalist Natalie Morales attends the screening of 'The BFG' hosted by Disney & The Cinema Society at Village East Cinema on June 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 21: Journalists Natalie Morales (L) and Savannah Guthrie pose for a picture as Singer/songwriter Meghan Trainor performs on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on June 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Natalie Morales appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: TV personality Natalie Morales attends the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 28: Natalie Morales is seen arriving to the Billboard Latin Music Awards at the Bank United Center on April 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Troy Rizzo/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 10: Natalie Morales attends HBO's post 2016 Golden Globe Awards party at Circa 55 Restaurant on January 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) TODAY show news anchor Natalie Morales visits SiriusXM Studios on April 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Natalie Morales speaks during the Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village Featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations during 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE at Grand Tasting Village on February 27, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Jenna Bush, Natalie Morales, Al Roker, and Forest Whitaker appear on the 'Today' show on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Natalie Morales (L) and Chef Marcus Samuelsson and guests attend Amstel Light Burger Bash Presented By Schweid & Sons Hosted By Rachael Ray during 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE at Beachside at The Ritz Carlton on February 26, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Natalie Morales attends the Goya Foods Grand Tasting Village Featuring MasterCard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid® Culinary Demonstrations during 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE at Grand Tasting Village on February 27, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 29: Natalie Morales attends the Muscular Dystrophy Association Funding Announcement at Carnegie Hall on January 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Natalie Morales appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: TV personality Natalie Morales attends the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 09: TV personality Natalie Morales attends the HBO Luxury Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Mediaplacement)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Natalie Morales attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC at BGC Partners, INC on September 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
TODAY -- Pictured: Natalie Morales appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
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In 2016, both Lauer and former Today co-anchor Natalie Morales addressed rumors that they had an affair, which allegedly led her to leave the morning show.

"Every aspect of this story is untrue, and it’s frankly sad that someone would tell lies to harm everyone involved," Lauer told The New York Post.

"There is absolutely no truth to this completely absurd story," Morales added. "It is damaging, hurtful and extremely sexist. I have proven myself in all aspects of my job as a news professional and journalist, and am adding to my role, taking on three jobs with Access Hollywood Live and Access Hollywood, in addition to Today. This move was dictated by me and my desire to grow in my career. Any insinuations beyond that are uninformed."

On Wednesday, Morales once again slammed the affair rumors in response to Lauer's firing.

“I woke up to the news like everyone this morning -- just in shock," Morales said on Access Hollywood Live. The Today show, of course, has been my family for 16 years now and it is difficult. I have personally dealt with rumors in the past for years that were hurtful to me, my family -- they diminished my hard work. I’ve addressed those rumors head-on in the past."

"That is not the story today," she continued. "The story today is the courage of a colleague who did come forward, and when and if she wants to tell her story publicly, I’m sure she will. But it did take a lot of courage for her to come forward. It was no doubt a very painful decision."

2016: Lauer slammed over Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump forum.

Photo: Getty Images

Lauer was accused by critics of unfairness and sexism when he hosted a live prime-time forum with then-presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last September. Lauer repeatedly grilled Clinton over the closed FBI investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state, as opposed to national security and foreign policy issues. Critics also accused Lauer of repeatedly interrupting Clinton, while largely unchallenging Trump.

"Lauer had turned what should have been a serious discussion into a pointless ambush. What a waste of time," Clinton later wrote in her campaign memoir, What Happened. “I can’t say I didn’t fantasize about shaking some sense into Lauer while I was out there."

Regarding Lauer's treatment of Trump at the forum, Clinton wrote that she was "was almost physically sick" over the anchor's "soft-pedal" interview. 

9 PHOTOS
Who will replace Matt Lauer?
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Who will replace Matt Lauer?
Ann Curry -- Viewers were shocked and stunned when Curry was tearfully released from "Today" on air in 2012. According to reports, she had a strained relationship with Lauer, who wanted her dismissed. CEO Steve Burke allegedly told Lauer ahead of the firing, “We need to sign you so we can do Ann," and top execs reportedly celebrated with a toast after she was fired. Although it seems unlikely that the network would potentially rehash old wounds by bringing her back, it could be a popular choice with viewers, many of whom have already taken to Twitter to campaign for her resinstatement.
Megyn Kelly -- When it was first announced that she would leave Fox News for NBC, there were multiple reports of a power struggle to determine her time slot. She's now situated two hours after Lauer's 7 AM spot, but amid all the turmoil, it's possible that she'll manage to snag that top seat.
Craig Melvin -- "Today" weekend co-host Craig Melvin certainly stands a strong stance of the big promotion to Lauer's top slot. He's already a familiar face among viewers, but he lacks the negative baggage of Ann Curry or Megyn Kelly.
Willie Geist -- The "Sunday Today" host has filled in for Lauer on multiple occasions. He's seen all across the network's programming, from MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to NBC News and NBC Sports.
Anderson Cooper -- After the drama with Ann Curry unfolded, leading many viewers to express a distaste for Lauer, rumors floated in 2013 that Anderson Cooper had been approached by NBC about replacing him. However, NBC News exec Alex Wallace at the time dismissed the claim, saying, "We want [Lauer] in the ‘Today’ show anchor chair for many years to come."
Keith Olbermann -- He spent 20 years as a sports reporter before moving into political journalism at MSNBC. Just days ago, he announced he would be ending his GQ web show "The Resistance," explaining that he wanted to retire from political commentary: "No illness. No scandal. No firing. Just I've said what I've had to say," he said. However, he didn't say he wanted to actually retire, leaving open the possibility of returning via a different type of program.
Tamron Hall -- This one's pretty unlikely. Hall decided herself to leave the show, much to the disappointment of many viewers and Hall's own colleagues. She reportedly felt burned by treatment of NBC execs, who booted her from her 9 AM time slot in favor of Megyn Kelly. She could return if there's no bad blood, but there almost certainly is.
Carson Daly -- He's already on the NBC payroll as the host of "The Voice," and some took to Twitter on Wednesday to campaign for him to slide into Lauer's seat.
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