Matt Lauer breaks silence after ouster from NBC over workplace harassment

'There is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed'


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Matt Lauer issued a statement Thursday morning on the heels of his ouster from NBC over a workplace harassment complaint alleging "inappropriate sexual behavior."

The longtime host of "Today" apologized for the pain he caused. While Lauer contested some of the allegations, saying unspecified things had been misconstrued, he acknowledged there is "enough truth in these stories" to embarrass him.

The apology follows bombshell reports Wednesday from The New York Times and Variety detailing a wide range of accusations from female co-workers and subordinates demonstrating a pattern of abusive behavior and language.

We've included his complete statement below:

"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. 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. 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. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I'm committed to beginning that effort. 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."

Savannah Guthrie, Lauer's co-anchor, led Wednesday's show with the news, reading a statement from NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack. The news was first reported by several journalists on Twitter moments before the show began.

Lack stated the network found Lauer's behavior was a "clear violation" of company standards. While Lack pointed out that it was the first complaint made against Lauer, he noted there was reason to believe it would not be the last.

Lauer's termination marks the latest in a string of high-profile firings, including "CBS This Morning" host Charlie Rose and film executive Harvey Weinstein, both of whom were the subjects of several complaints by former employees citing unwanted sexual advances.

Both The New York Times and Variety reportedly had been investigating Lauer's workplace conduct for weeks when NBC terminated him.

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