Former TODAY Show anchor Ann Curry told The Washington Post on Thursday that she told NBC management about Matt Lauer’s sexual misconduct back in 2012.
The news reportedly stunned Lauer, who worked alongside Curry from 1997-2012.
“Matt was genuinely surprised Ann spoke to The Washington Post on the record stating she had gone to management at NBC while [they] both were anchors of TODAY and made a complaint on behalf of someone that he had been sexually harassing the staff member,” a source told Us Weekly on Friday. “No one ever spoke to Matt about it at the time, and the executive producer at the time, Jim Bell, was also unaware of the very serious allegation Ann was making against Matt.”
The source went on to say Lauer’s shock was soon followed by anger.
“Matt has been laying low for a reason, and just when he thought the worst was behind him, this story comes out with Ann on the record,” the source said. “It’s very frustrating for Matt because of the impact it’s taking on his kids. He is working through a very contentious divorce with Annette [Roque].”
Curry said she came forward to members of NBC management after a female staffer told her she was “sexually harassed physically” by Lauer.
“A woman approached me and asked me tearfully if I could help her,” Curry said. “She was afraid of losing her job… I believed her.”
“I told management they had a problem and they needed to keep an eye on him and how he deals with women,” she continued.
Curry said there was no mention of the incident in Lauer’s personnel file, and went on to claim there was “pervasive verbal sexual harassment at NBC” while she was at the network.
“This is one of the problems when we talk about corporations with an HR department being under leadership of someone who might or might not be accused,” she said. “How are they going to complain about it if they are accusing someone who is overseeing the department that is supposed to protect them?”
“Do you have a system that allows those who feel they have been victimized to air their complaints without fear they will lose their jobs?” she added. “I don’t know a company that does.”
Lauer broke his five months of silence on Thursday with a statement to The Post, continuing to deny the allegations brought forward against him by multiple co-workers.
“I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months. I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost,” Lauer said.
“But defending my family now requires me to speak up. I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC. However, I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false.”