Inside Annette Roque’s private 'hell' during her 20-year marriage to Matt Lauer

Throughout the very public demise of her marriage to Matt Lauer, Annette Roque remained tight-lipped and poised. But now as new and shocking rape accusations are being leveled at her ex, sources exclusively reveal in the new issue of Us Weekly that the former model lived through torment during their 20-plus-year union.

“Annette wanted out of the marriage for a long time,” says an insider. “She stayed for Matt’s career — and, more important, for their kids,” Jack, 18, Romy, 16, and Thijs, 12. But in the last five years, especially after Lauer, 61, was fired by NBC amid sexual misconduct allegations in 2017, “she’s been through hell.”

For starters, the disgraced Today host’s extramarital affairs played a negative role in their long relationship. “There were cracks in the marriage from very early on,” says the insider. “Matt has always been a ladies’ man, and there were affairs in the beginning.” When he promised to change, Roque “chose to believe Matt’s denials,” says the insider.

Living with Lauer wasn’t easy for the Netherlands native, 52, either. “Matt’s a total control freak,” says another source, not to mention a neat freak. “Nothing was ever out of place, and he expected this same quality in his wife too.”

Following the new claim — that Lauer allegedly raped his former NBC News colleague Brooke Nevils in her hotel room while they were covering the 2014 Sochi Olympics — Roque broke her silence for the first time, saying that her children were her priority. And in light of the most recent headlines, she has no regrets. The first insider adds: “Annette knew she made the best decision for herself and the kids by filing for divorce.”

The ex-news anchor, for his part, has since denied Nevils’ allegations, calling the incident “categorically false” in a letter his lawyer shared with Us Weekly.

“The story Brooke tells is filled with false details intended only to create the impression this was an abusive encounter,” Lauer wrote. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”