This afternoon the NY Times is reporting that two more complaints about Matt Lauer’s behavior have surfaced and the first of these is pretty dramatic sounding:
On Wednesday, NBC received at least two more complaints related to Mr. Lauer, according to a person briefed on the network’s handling of the matter. One complaint came from a former employee who said Mr. Lauer had summoned her to his office in 2001 and then had sex with her. She provided her account to The New York Times but declined to let her name be used.
She told the Times that she felt helpless because she didn’t want to lose her job, and that she didn’t report the encounter at the time because she felt ashamed.
She said NBC’s human resources department had contacted her Wednesday to ask her about her allegations.
The woman told her husband about the encounter at the time, which The Times confirmed with him in a phone call. The couple was separated at the time, and later divorced. She also told a friend about it five years ago, which the friend also confirmed.
This NY Times account is still pretty vague but I assume the accuser has given a more detailed account to the NY Times and NBC News. All we know from this report is that Lauer summoned her to his office (the one with the creep-tastic remote door lock under his desk) and “had sex with her.” Did he promise her he could help her career, Weinstein-style? Did he physically threaten her? I suppose those details don’t matter at this point given that Lauer is already gone. And the fact that she told two people contemporaneously really helps back up her claim. I’ll admit I’m mostly just curious for another reason: If Lauer was essentially summoning women to his office and raping them, it becomes harder and harder to believe no word of his behavior ever circulated at NBC News.
On that note, earlier today Ed mentioned a video in which Katie Couric suggested Matt Lauer’s most annoying habit was constantly pinching her butt. This afternoon, TMZ has uncovered another Lauer video, this one apparently involving Meredith Vieira. This clip strongly suggests Lauer’s treatment of women was not much of a secret and NBC. Lauer is finishing up some work as Vieira is pulling paperwork off the table in front of him. As she leans down he says, “Pretty sweater.” Then he adds, “Keep bending over like that. It’s a nice view.” The video is more revealing than the text. Lauer isn’t smiling as he says this, he’s leering. Vieira’s voice can be heard in the clip, but if she responded to his remark, it wasn’t caught on the microphone.
Here’s the “keep bending over” clip and below is the clip of Katie Couric talking about Lauer pinching her ass.
Update: TMZ has corrected its report to say that the person Lauer is talking to is not Katie Couric but Meredith Vieira. I updated the story above to make that clear.