Matt Lauer's supposed fixation on Pippa Middleton was a headache for his colleagues, according to a new Page Six report.
Insiders say Lauer was determined to convince producers — and Pippa herself — that the Brit should join the show as a regular contributor, and despite lukewarm responses, he "pushed to get her on the air."
"Matt and Pippa were never alone, and she wasn't really interested in the job, but nevertheless NBC staffers were nervous about Matt's interest in Pippa," a source told the outlet.
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During one visit to New York, Middleton and her publicist sat down with Lauer and other senior "Today" staff members at one of Lauer's favorite restaurants to discuss the opportunity. At least one executive producer was on board with the potential hire, but "Pippa wasn't comfortable with any of it," the source continued. "Buckingham Palace was putting her under tremendous pressure not to go forward or cause any embarrassment to her sister."
Despite her hesitations, Lauer arranged for Middleton to film a test shoot at a dude ranch in Montana. That didn't go so well: It was "excruciating," Page Six confirms. Separately, she also sat down with Lauer for a one-on-one interview that aired on the morning show.
The conversations with NBC took place after Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding made Pippa a household name, but before she would get married in 2017 and later welcome her first child.
Lauer was ousted from "Today" in late 2017. In addition to multiple allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, the former anchor is accused of rape by a former staffer. He also allegedly exposed himself to a producer and subjected an unnamed on-air personality to lewd comments broadcast over open mics on set.