Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

NBC Releases Findings From Matt Lauer Sexual Misconduct Investigation

NBC Releases Findings From Matt Lauer Sexual Misconduct Investigation

While the NBC memo said it was the first complaint it received about Lauer, it added it had "reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident".

The seven-page report of the investigation was released about five months after Lauer's November 28 ouster from the show where he spent two decades as a star reporter. NBC says no such allegations ever reached network executives.

The investigation, which was led by NBCUniversal general counsel Kim Harris, focused on Lauer's behavior and complaints from four women, who came forward late a year ago.

Investigators also said more needs to be done to ensure that the more than 2,000 employees at NBC News can talk about bad behavior without fearing retaliation, leading NBC News Chairman Andy Lack to establish a way this can be done outside the company.

The four women mentioned "confirmed that they did not tell their direct manager or anyone else in a position of authority about their sexual encounters with Lauer", though one woman did inform a superior about Lauer having had touched her thigh in the years before her alleged sexual encounter with him. The alleged episodes occurred in 2000, 2001, 2007 and 2014, respectively.

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Some of the women interviewed said Lauer was indeed flirtatious and used sexually suggestive language with them as well, but once they ignored or declined his advances, Lauer did not retaliate in any way.

Again in December, a At this time present supply instructed PEOPLE they have been shocked by the allegations - however not by rumors of extramarital affairs. "All these women stated that they did not report this behavior to anyone in a position of authority".

Lack said more than 80 percent of the staff had undergone new training in workplace behavior since Lauer's firing, and that all employees are expected to be done by June 30. Former co-host Ann Curry even said she was "not surprised" by the allegations.

This seems specious, considering Anne Curry's account of her time at Today before she was unceremoniously fired in 2012.

The report also addressed a notorious element of the Lauer-harassment scandal: the existence of a button in his office that allegedly locked the door remotely. The report states that the button "is a commonly available feature in executive offices in multiple NBCUniversal facilities" and "does not lock the door from the inside".

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NBC's version of this device released a magnet that held the door open, but it did not lock the door from the inside. While making the report public is a positive step, NBC needed an independent third party to look at its practices to make the findings credible, said the organization Press Forward, made up of women who worked in the news industry who experienced sexual misconduct.

The report suggests that employees were aware of Lauer's marital problems and that he had had extramarital affairs, though they believed, "with limited exceptions", that the affairs were with women outside NBC, according to the report. Many staffers told THR that they were not satisfied with NBC conducting its own investigation.

The network will also improve its training mechanisms and make "respectful behavior" a part of performance evaluations.

"I am immensely proud of NBC News, its history and the work we do", Lack said. "But - stepping back from the investigation - that history also includes a time when people were not comfortable coming forward to voice complaints about repugnant behavior".

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