A former NBC employee has accused Matt Lauer of locking her in his office and sexually assaulting her during the work day

 

  • NBC reportedly received two new complaints about Matt Lauer, the former "Today" show co-host who was fired on Wednesday.
  • One of the complaints is from a woman who said Lauer invited her to his office in 2001, locked the door from the inside, then sexually assaulted her.
  • Multiple current and former NBC staffers also told Variety that Lauer had engaged in rampant sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior during his decades at the network.


A former NBC employee filed a complaint to the network on Wednesday, accusing longtime "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer had summoned her to his office in 2001, locked the door, and sexually assaulted her, The New York Times reported.

The woman told the Times that after Lauer locked the door, using a button under his desk, he asked her to unbutton her blouse, which she did, then pulled down her pants, bent her over a chair, and assaulted her. She said she eventually passed out, woke up on the floor of Lauer's office, and was taken to a nurse by Lauer's assistant.

The former employee told the Times that Lauer had made inappropriate comments to her since she began working as a producer on "Today" in the late 1990s, including asking her whether she had ever cheated on her husband. She said Lauer also once sat uncomfortably close to her in a car while the pair were traveling for a story, then said, "You're no fun" when she moved away.

The woman told the Times that she did not report the assault earlier because she felt helpless and ashamed, she believed she could have done more to stop the assault, and she feared losing her job. She added that Lauer never spoke of the alleged assault, nor made another advance toward her after it occurred. She left NBC roughly a year after the incident.

Multiple women come forward

The allegation was one of two new complaints lodged with NBC against Lauer on Wednesday, after he was fired over an initial complaint from an employee alleging "inappropriate sexual behavior" from Lauer.

NBC News chairman Andy Lack said in a statement on Wednesday morning that the network had reviewed the woman's complaint and had "reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

andy lack matt lauerDimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Lack reportedly told NBC staff in a subsequent meeting that the initial complaint stemmed from encounters Lauer and the woman had in Sochi, Russia, during the 2014 Winter Olympics. Lack reportedly said the pair's involvement continued after they returned to New York, two people briefed on the meeting told the Times.

Details from the women's complaints are similar to others reported in a Variety investigation on Wednesday. The outlet published multiple allegations from current and former NBC employees alleging Lauer had engaged in a pattern of inappropriate behavior during his time at the network.

Two women told Variety that Lauer had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock the door from the inside, which he sometimes used after inviting in women. NBC staffers have since said that many high-level executives at the network had the same buttons in their offices.

NBC insiders also told Variety that Lauer regularly invited women to his hotel room during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

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 Variety, Lauer also allegedly gifted a sex toy to one female colleague, accompanied by a note about how he wanted to use it on her. He was also accused of exposing himself to another female employee after summoning her to his office, then reprimanding her for not participating in a sexual act.

The current and former staffers told Variety that Lauer would frequently partake in crude behavior, including quizzing female employees about who they had slept with, and playing the game "f---, marry, kill," in which he would name female co-hosts he wanted to sleep with.

Several staffers told Variety they had complained about Lauer's behavior to network executives, who they say ignored them.

Lauer issued a statement on Thursday morning, apologizing to the people he hurt.

"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions," he 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."

NOW WATCH: Megyn Kelly heard rumors about Matt Lauer and 'hoped it wasn't true'

See Also:

SEE ALSO: The 'Today' show cast mocked workplace sexual harassment in a cringeworthy 2012 segment in which Matt Lauer pretended to be a victim

DON'T MISS: Matt Lauer breaks his silence on sexual-misconduct allegations: 'There are no words'

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