Earlier today, NBC announced that it fired longtime Today show co-host Matt Lauer over sexual harassment. It wasn’t clear for many hours what exactly happened to cause the network to cut ties with him. Now, Variety has published a jaw-dropping exposé, citing dozens of unnamed current and former staffers. According to the report, Lauer was a known harasser among his colleagues who frequently used his power to dominate women in the workplace.
Not only that, but his office was reportedly rigged with a device so that he could lock his door while sitting at the desk.
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.
Even with the barrage of revelations about the numerous sexual predators in power, this anecdote may take the cake as one of the creepiest. You can read the full Variety article here.
Update: A new report from the New York Times, which details more disturbing allegations about Lauer, adds that NBC employees claim that “the button was a regular security measure installed for high-profile employees.”