When Americans start their day with NBC’s Today, there are many things to expect.
Al Roker will help deliver the weather forecast in your neck of the woods. Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will likely have a sip of wine around 10 a.m. And Jill Martin could have a few steals and deals that are too good to pass up.
But exactly one year ago today, nobody could have expected how NBC’s morning show would start their broadcast.
Alongside Hoda, Savannah Guthrie announced that Matt Lauer had been terminated from NBC News after a female colleague accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior.
“As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated, and we are still processing all of this,” she explained. “And I will tell you right now, we do not know more than I just shared with you, but we will be covering this story as reporters as journalists. I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come, and we promise we will share that with you.”
For the past 12 months, Matt has tried his best to keep a low-profile despite the public scrutiny that followed him in the immediate weeks after the shocking news. Instead of having a sit-down interview with a journalist or speaking out on social media, the NBC News veteran stuck to one statement.
“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 disappoint 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,” the former anchor said in his statement. “I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish deeply. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I am committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job.”
Matt’s first few weeks included retreating to Long Island where he was spotted leaving his estate and driving into town to meet with his lawyer.
His wife of close to 20 years Annette Roque stayed quiet as speculation about the state of their marriage reached an all-time high. It certainly didn’t help when Matt’s father-in-law spoke to the Daily Mail and said his daughter “is not going to stay” with the journalist.
“I have no words for her husband,” Henri Roque told the outlet. “What he has done is bad. Everybody feels betrayed. She is not going to stay with him and work it out. They are not together trying to work it out.”
As of now, People reports that the couple is working to finalize the terms of their divorce as they continue to raise their three children.
While some reports suggest that Matt has been largely exiled, many Today show co-hosts have admitted to still communicating with their former co-worker.
“This is one of those complex situations,” Hoda previously shared with The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve known him since I started working at NBC [in 1998]. When I was sick with breast cancer, he was the first to call. He helps and helped in ways that…you know, he was incredible in that way. There is that Matt and then there’s the Matt that the accusers speak of. And those accusers’ voices matter and that story matters.”
In fact, Matt reached out to Hoda via text when she was named his successor as co-anchor of Today.
“He’s really focused on his family and I think that’s where his heart is and that’s where it should be,” Savannah shared with E! News. “We’ve all kept in touch and have all been reaching out and I don’t think there’s anyone who would be more thrilled than Matt to see Hoda in this role. He adores Hoda and knows how good she is. I know that to be true.”
For those wondering if Matt can and will have a comeback, reports surfaced this summer that the morning show vet was hopeful that a return to the small screen was possible.
According to Page Six, Matt told diners at Donohue’s Steak House that he’s “been busy being a dad. But don’t worry, I’ll be back on TV.”
And while he hasn’t stepped foot on a red carpet, people have spotted Matt at East Coast events including the Hampton Classic, a Paddle for Pink charity event and more.
As for Today, Hoda and Savannah continue to co-host the first two hours with help from Craig Melvin. An NBC investigation also concluded that management did not know about the accusations made by four women against Matt.
“We found no evidence indicating that any NBC News or Today Show leadership, News HR or others in positions of authority in the News Division received any complaints about Lauer’s workplace behavior prior to November 27, 2017,” the report stated.
(E! and NBC are part of the NBCUniversal family)