Former Today show host Matt Lauer has issued an official statement, apologizing for his actions after sexual misconduct claims made headlines earlier this week. The television veteran was terminated from NBC, losing a role he had held for more than two decades, The New York Times reports.
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions," he wrote in a statement issued on November 30. "To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC."
The statement comes a day after Variety published an article detailing multiple sexual harassment claims made against Lauer, the result of a two-month investigation by the magazine. According to one female employee, he gave her a sex toy and included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her. Another colleague says the host summoned her to his office and dropped his pants, then reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.
While Lauer did not address specific claims, he argues some are inaccurate. "Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly," the statement read.
"Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I'm committed to beginning that effort," he continued. "It is now my full time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It's been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace."
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