It’s been one week since Matt Lauer was fired from NBC, but reports surrounding the disgraced anchor haven’t slowed down.
“He is weak and broken and ashamed by his own admission,” one of Lauer’s former colleagues tells People. “He is my friend. … He is human, and he is flawed. But is he going to use his power to be a predator on women? Until I see solid evidence of that, I just can’t believe it. We don’t know the details.”
Lauer, 59, was terminated after the network received a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior,” which wasn’t believed to be an “isolated incident.” In the days that followed, multiple women came forward accusing the former Today show host of sexual harassment and/or assault.
The veteran TV journalist has since retreated to Sag Harbor, N.Y., to be with his family despite rumblings his wife of 19 years, Annette Roque, plans to leave him. On Monday, Lauer was photographed dropping his son off at school with his wedding ring on his finger, but he has since removed it. On Wednesday, both Lauer and Roque, 52, were photographed separately in town without any hardware on their ring fingers, according to reports in Page Six and the Daily Mail.
“She is not going to stay with him and work it out. They are not together trying to work it out,” the Dutch model’s father reportedly told the Daily Mail. “I have no words for her husband. What he has done is bad. Everybody feels betrayed.”
However, a source tells People no decision has been made as they are “taking it day by day right now.” Says the insider, “[Matt’s] focus is on his family.”
Lauer and Roque share three children: Jack, 16, Romy, 14, and Thijs, 11. Lauer released a statement last week (mostly) apologizing for his behavior.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Lauer said via his former co-host, Savannah Guthrie. “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.”
Lauer continued, “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.”
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