Matt Lauer inching 'his way back into society' after 'Today' show ousting

Matt Lauer is slowly inching his way back into the public eye.

Ever since being abruptly fired from the Today show last November due to alleged inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace, the 60-year-old journalist has been living a private life in the Hamptons.

"Matt is completely aware he has not been forgiven for his sexual misconduct, and certainly all has not been forgotten. He has kept a very low profile not only for himself but for the sake of his family," a source told ET on Friday. "He realizes the utter embarrassment he has caused everyone involved."

"He also knows he might never be completely pardoned for his behavior, so he's finally come to terms with the fact he needs to start stepping out in public," the source added. "He is beginning to inch his way back into society. He still fears the endless backlash, but also knows he can't hide forever."

19 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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Another reason Lauer had been staying under the radar up until now was due to the fact that he is trying to finalize his divorce from his estranged wife, Annette Roque, whom he shares three kids with -- Jack, 17, Romy, 14, and Thijs, 11.

"Matt and Annette's divorce is finally almost complete," the source said. "Sadly, their divorce has been filled with contention. They are both very ready for it to be over, but the challenge is that he and Annette have disagreed throughout the entire process."

At the moment, Lauer -- who currently still resides in the Hamptons -- is just trying to stay focused on his family.

"Matt's plans for the summer are to spend quality time traveling with his children," the source said. "He is focusing on preserving his relationship with his children."

"This has been the most trying, painful time in his life," the source continued, adding that Lauer has also been spending a lot of time planning the "next best step" in his career. "He has high hopes for some type of comeback, but not everyone is convinced that will ever happen."

"His small group of friends and team that have stuck by him have recommended a longer break," added the source. "Everyone has told him time helps to heal, but he is ready. He is used to hard work and long days and he knows that will help him move forward."

Earlier this month, in a rare public sighting, Lauer was spotted paddleboarding in Sag Harbor, New York, and appeared to be in good spirits. The sighting came just a few weeks after Lauer gave his first interview since he was fired from the Today show.

25 PHOTOS
Matt Lauer and Annette Roque together through the years
See Gallery
Matt Lauer and Annette Roque together through the years
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 - 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)
BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY - SEPTEMBER 01: Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque Lauer attend the 38th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show - Grand Prix Sunday on September 1, 2013 in Bridgehampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08: 'Today' host Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque attend 2013 Tribeca Ball at New York Academy of Art on April 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 03: Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque attend the 2008 UNICEF Snowflake Ball at Cipriani 42nd Street on December 3, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - MAY 15: TV personality Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque visit the 'Ye Waverly Inn' resturant on May 15, 2008 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)
Actress Mary Tyler Moore, television journalist Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque attend the Fifth Annual ASPCA Bergh Ball on April 25, 2002 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - APRIL 23: Annette Roque and Matt Lauer attend ROGER VIVIER Cocktail Party Benefiting CENTRAL PARK CONSERVANCY at Roger Vivier on April 23, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MAY 8: Annette Roque and Matt Lauer attend TIME MAGAZINE'S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD at Jazz @ Lincoln Center on May 8, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by JIMI CELESTE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MAY 8: Matt Lauer and Annette Roque Lauer attend TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People 2007 at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 8, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by PATRICK MCMULLAN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Matt Lauer and Annette Roque Lauer attend Baccarat Presents the 2nd Annual UNICEF SNOWFLAKE BALL at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on November 28, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Matt Lauer, Annette Roque Lauer during Bergdorf Goodman celebrates Madonna's new book at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by M. Von Holden/FilmMagic)
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 Roque Lauer and Matt Lauer during Escada and InStyle Host Benefit for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF at ESCADA Fifth Avenue in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Matt Lauer, Annette Roque Lauer during Bette Midler Receives the Medal of Distinction by Lenox Hill Hospital at 2002 Autumn Ball at Waldorf Astoria in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
Matt Lauer and Annette Roque during 5th Annual ASPCA Bergh Ball at Plaza Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - APRIL 25: Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque attend ASPCA Bergh Ball Honoring Roger A. Caras on April 25, 2001 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
370677 06: Today Show Host Matt Lauer with his wife Annette Roque Lauer attend The Fresh Air Fund Benefit, June 8, 2000 in New York City. The Fresh Air Fund is an independent, not for profit agency which has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million disadvantaged New York City children since 1877. The annual event is held at Tavern On The Green in New York City. (Photo By George De Sota/Liaison)
Television journalist Matt Lauer and wife, model Annette Roque, at book party for Al Roker. (Photo by Marion Curtis/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - OCTOBER 21: Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque attend Third Annual GQ Men of the Year Awards on October 21, 1998 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Nyc 10/21/98 Gq Magazine Honors 'Men Of The Year' At Radio City Music Hall. Matt Lauer & New Bride Annette Roque (Photo By Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 03: NBC 'Today' show host Matt Lauer and model Annette Roque leave Bridgehampton Presbyterian Chuch on Long Island after their wedding. (Photo by John Roca/NY Daily News Archive via 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)
Matt Lauer & Annette Roque during 1997 Lexus Challenge After Party at La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Annette Roque and Matt Lauer during 'Anchors Aweigh' Benefit for Muscular Dystrophy Association at Aboard Spirit of New York in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
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Reporting by Adriane Schwartz.

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