Matt Lauer Fired From 'Today' Show Over 'Inappropriate Sexual Behavior'

"We were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident," NBC News chairman writes of 'Today' anchor allegations

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Matt Lauer Fired From 'Today' Show Over 'Inappropriate Sexual Behavior'
Savannah Guthrie announced on air that Matt Lauer had been fired from NBC 'Today' Show following sexual assault allegations. Watch here.

UPDATE: NBC has received at least two more complaints since news broke of Matt Lauer's alleged "inappropriate sexual behavior" on Wednesday, which led to him being fired from Today, The New York Times reports. One complaint came from a former employee who alleged that in 2001 she was summoned to Lauer's office and he locked the door and had sex with her. Details regarding the second allegation have not been disclosed.

Matt Lauer has been fired from NBC following allegations of "inappropriate sexual behavior" against the longtime Today show anchor.

"Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News," NBC said in a statement. "On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment."

In a memo to NBC employees, NBC News chairman Andy Lack wrote of the alleged sexual misconduct, "It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he's been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

The network said Monday's complaint stemmed from an incident involving Lauer and an NBC employee that began at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, per the Associated Press.

On Wednesday morning, Hoda Kotb joined Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie instead of Lauer; Guthrie then told viewers it was "a sad morning at Today and NBC News" and read Lack's email on air.

"We just learned this moments ago, just this morning. As I'm sure you can imagine, we are devastated," Guthrie said. "We are still processing all of this. And I will tell you, right now, we don't know more than what I just shared with you, but we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. We will be learning more details in the hours and days that come and we promise to share that with you."

Guthrie added that she was "heartbroken" for her "dear friend" Lauer as well as the "brave colleague" that came forward with the organization.

"Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender," Lack added in his email. "We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization – and do it in as transparent a manner as we can."

A rep for Lauer and NBC did not immediately return a request for comment.

Lauer had served as Today show co-host for over two decades, delivering the network's morning news coverage to millions of viewers from 1994 until Tuesday. In that time, Lauer had become one of the most recognizable faces in network news and NBC, with the anchor covering everything from Olympic ceremonies to Thanksgiving Day parades and interviewing everyone from celebrities to presidents.

According to CNN, both New York Times and Variety were in the midst of writing an article detailing allegations of sexual misconduct against Lauer. While NBC's memo said that the "inappropriate sexual behavior" claim against Lauer was the "first complaint" against the host, Variety's Ramin Setoodeh said their story detailed "multiple victims." Setoodeh added that NBC was aware that the "bombshell story" was imminent.

Hours after Lauer's firing, Variety shared the account of three women's allegations against the host, the most disturbing of which came when Lauer invited an unnamed NBC employee to his office "and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis." When the employee rejected Lauer's advances, he reprimanded her.

Another woman revealed that Lauer allegedly purchased a sex toy for her as a gift and included an explicit note detailing "how he wanted to use it on her." The Variety report also stated that Lauer allegedly "had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his [office] door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy" when he called female employees to his office.

None of the three women in Variety's story were the woman whose account of an incident at the 2014 Sochi Olympics ultimately led to Lauer's termination.

Read NBC News chairman Andy Lack's full statement on Matt Lauer

Dear Colleagues,

On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he's been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.

Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.

We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization -- and do it in as transparent a manner as we can. To that end, Noah and I will be meeting with as many of you as possible throughout the day today to answer your questions.

Andy