Matt Lauer‘s ex-wife, Nancy Alspaugh, who was married to the former NBC newscaster from 1981 to 1988, says she’s “shocked” by the sexual harassment allegations against him. Despite the disturbing nature of the alleged stories of sexual misconduct, Alspaugh says she supports Lauer “100 per cent.”
“I was shocked because he’s been such a stalwart at that network and in that job,” TV producer Alspaugh said on Thursday to Entertainment Tonight. He’s been the best person that’s ever held that job and I couldn’t imagine that anything that he would have done — that would have been so out of character for him — that would have caused that reaction.”
“Of course I’ve given him my support. One hundred per cent.”
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Early Wednesday morning, Lauer was fired from his job after a colleague accused him of “inappropriate sexual behaviour.”
Industry publication Variety released a report late Wednesday alleging that “multiple” women have come forward with sexual harassment accusations against Lauer. Variety claims it has spent the last two months investigating him, interviewing dozens of current and former employees at NBC.
On Thursday morning, Lauer apologized and said he was “soul searching.”
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Lauer said in the statement released to the network. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry.”
Lauer said that some of what he has been accused of is untrue and mischaracterized but said, “there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.”
“Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort,” Lauer said. “It is now my full-time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws.”
Alspaugh has reached out to Lauer since his firing but has yet to get a response from him. He was spotted on Thursday in East Hampton, New York, where he was reportedly visiting his three children with current wife, Annette Roque.
Alspaugh says they last spoke a week or so ago after she called him to tell him that she was visited at her home by a reporter. She claims the reporter told her “some things were going to be coming out,” and when she told Lauer about the accusations, he said they weren’t true.
“I never saw him as a power monger or somebody who would abuse his position in any way,” Alspaugh said about Lauer.
“He’s just a very giving person and charming … and I think a lot of this stuff is obviously going to come to light, whether it’s true or not, and some of the things that are being stated may not be true,” she said. “We have to find that out, you know? As time goes on here, people should be aware there’s a family involved here. There are three children and that’s … I think it’s important to be aware that this can destroy a family. Reporting on accusations before they know whether they’re real or not.”
Although Alspaugh and Lauer divorced many decades ago, they still maintain an amicable relationship. Lauer has been married to Roque since 1998.
A report circulating on Friday morning claims that Lauer will be suing NBC for $30 million after his firing from the network. This has not been confirmed.