Allegations of sexual impropriety by fired “Today" show host Matt Lauer are stacking up.
NBC News announced on the show Wednesday morning that Lauer was out:
Variety has published stories of several women who allege Lauer engaged in sexual misconduct in the studio, his office and on the road. One told of receiving a sex toy as a gift from Lauer, who allegedly told her he’d like to use it on her.
Variety also reported Lauer had a secret button in his desk to lock his office door to keep people out ... and in:
Lauer, who was paranoid about being followed by tabloid reporters, grew more emboldened at 30 Rockefeller Center as his profile rose following Katie Couric’s departure from “Today” in 2006. His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer.
Whether Lauer just innocently wanted privacy or not, the remote control lock looked awfully creepy in retrospect.
Even President Donald Trump tweeted about the situation Wednesday:
#MattLauer fired for sexual misconduct! Had a button under his desk to lock his office door for privacy! Wish I'd thought of that 16 women ago! Good thing standard is lower for Presidency than #TodayShow host!
— Donald J. Trump (@Trumptweets2020) November 29, 2017
Others noticed as well:
— James Brown (@jamesdbrown) November 29, 2017
— Consequence of Sound (@consequence) November 29, 2017
JUST IN: Matt Lauer had a secret button under his desk tht he used to lock his office door to trap women inside his office! Other accusations to graphic for TV.
— 💎STOCK MONSTER💎 (@StockMonsterVIP) November 29, 2017
— Alex Leo (@AlexMLeo) November 29, 2017
— Ima Fermata. Hold me. (@MikeSceezie) November 29, 2017
Variety reported NBC allegedly protected Lauer from the consequences of his actions:
Lauer’s conduct was not a secret among other employees at “Today,” numerous sources say. At least one of the anchors would gossip about stories she had heard, spreading them among the staff. “Management sucks there,” says a former reporter, who asked not to be identified, speaking about executives who previously worked at the show. “They protected the s— out of Matt Lauer.”
Variety reported it was part of a disturbing pattern of abuse of women.