Lauer’s former colleague Savannah Guthrie read the statement during the Today show on Thursday, November 30.
“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 disappointment 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,” Lauer, 59, said in a statement to Us Weekly. “I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”
“Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job,” he continued. “The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.”
As previously reported, the veteran journalist was terminated from the network after a colleague accused him of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Guthrie and Hoda Kotb delivered the news during the Wednesday program and revealed that NBC News Chairman Andy Lack sent an email to employees just moments before they went live on air.
Lack said in his memo that he believes “this may not have been an isolated incident” and that he was “deeply saddened by this turn of events.”
After the news broke, Variety published a two-month long investigation detailing multiple allegations of sexual harassment against Lauer. Some claims included that he gave a sex toy to one woman and exposed himself in front of another. The New York Times also reported that at least two other women came forward with allegations, with one claiming that Lauer invited her to his office in 2001 and they had sex.
Lauer joined the Today show in 1994 and has been a part of the network for more than two decades.