NBCUniversal said managers at its venerable “Today” show and at NBC News had no knowledge of inappropriate behavior by star anchor Matt Lauer prior to November of last year, when he was summarily dismissed from NBC after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. The company detailed its findings in an internal report made public on Wednesday.
NBCU said Lauer admitted on Nov. 28, 2017, that he engaged in sexual activity with a female complainant who had one day earlier approached NBC News management. The company found his behavior to be in violation of company standards and fired him. “Within the two weeks after Lauer’s termination was announced publicly by NBC News on November 29, 2017, the company received information about three additional women, who each alleged that Lauer had engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace with them in 2000, 2001 and 2007, respectively.” NBCU decided to conduct an internal investigation of the matter and consulted with two outside law firms – Proskauer Rose and Davis Polk – as part of the process.
The investigation, which relied on accounts from 68 different people, including current and former “Today” hosts and NBC News management, ultimately found “no evidence indicating that any NBC News or ‘Today’ Show leadership, News HR or others in positions of authority in the News Division received any complaints about Lauer’s workplace behavior prior to November 27, 2017,” the report said. “All four women who came forward confirmed that they did not tell their direct manager or anyone else in a position of authority about their sexual encounters with Lauer. Current and former members of NBC News and ‘Today’ Show leadership, as well as News HR, stated that they had never received a complaint about inappropriate workplace behavior by Lauer, and we did not find any contrary evidence.”