May 9 (UPI) — NBC’s internal investigation of sex misconduct allegations against Matt Lauer found no evidence that network leaders received complaints about him before last November, when he was fired.
The investigation, led by NBCUniversal general counsel Kim Harris, heard accounts from 68 people including current and former Today hosts. The probe found no evidence that NBC News or Today leadership had received any complaints about Lauer and his behavior prior to November.
Lauer was fired after the network received a complaint that he took part in inappropriate sexual behavior with a female colleague. Lauer admitted to engaging in sexual activity with the woman. Three additional women then came forward with similar complaints.
“All four women who came forward confirmed that they did not tell their direct manager or anyone else in a position of authority about their sexual encounters with Lauer. Current and former members of NBC News and Today show leadership, as well as News HR, stated that they had never received a complaint about inappropriate workplace behavior by Lauer, and we did not find any contrary evidence,” the report said.
“We were also unable to establish that any of those interviewed, including NBC News and Today show leadership, News HR and others in positions of authority in the News Division, knew that Lauer had engaged in sexual activity with other employees,” the report continued. “Most witnesses interviewed stated that they had heard or read rumors about Lauer’s personal life, including tabloid stories about the troubled state of his marriage and the possibility of extramarital affairs, but those witnesses believed, with limited exceptions, that the rumored extramarital affairs were with women outside of the company.”
The report also found no widespread problem of misconduct at NBC.
NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack sent a note to employees about creating an environment where workers feel more comfortable about coming forward with complaints.
“Like many of you, 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. That is not acceptable. We cannot change the past. What we can do is learn from it, and try to make it right.”