- Matt Lauer used a button under his desk at NBC to lock his office door from the inside after inviting in women, Variety reported.
- NBC fired Lauer on Wednesday after the network received a complaint of his “inappropriate sexual behavior.”
- Multiple current and former NBC staffers told Variety that Lauer engaged in a pattern of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment at the network.
Matt Lauer reportedly had a button under his desk that could lock his door from the inside, allowing him to invite in women and initiate inappropriate contact undisturbed, Variety reported on Wednesday.
NBC fired Lauer as the star host of the “Today” show earlier in the day after the network received a complaint from an employee alleging “inappropriate sexual behavior.” NBC News chairman Andy Lack said in a statement that the network had reviewed the situation and had “reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Variety documented multiple stories from current and former NBC staffers alleging sexual harassment and a pattern of lewd and disturbing behavior from Lauer. Two women who told Variety Lauer sexually harassed them, and that he would use his desk button to ensure privacy during encounters at his secluded office in 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Lauer’s office button may not have been out of the ordinary at NBC, however. Betsy Fischer Martin, a former executive at the network, said on Twitter that several fellow NBC executives had switches under their office desks that automatically closed the doors.
“I always found it to be intimidating but not unusual,” she said.
The New York Times noted that such buttons were not unusual for high-profile employees at NBC, and that they were installed for security.
Variety also reported that Lauer allegedly gifted a sex toy to one female colleague, accompanied by a note about how he wanted to use it on her. Another female employee also accused him of exposing himself after summoning her to his office, then reprimanding her for not participating in a sexual act.
According to Variety, which interviewed dozens of current and former NBC staffers, Lauer would often partake in crude behavior, including quizzing female employees about who they had slept with, and playing the game “f—, marry, kill,” in which he would name female co-hosts he wanted to sleep with.
Several staffers told Variety they had complained about Lauer’s behavior to network executives, who they say ignored them. Both NBC and Lauer declined to comment to Variety.