WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Former ‘Today’ anchor Matt Lauer is seeking a huge payout from NBC after being fired from the morning show this week.
- According to Page Six, Lauer’s lawyers are working to get NBC pay their client the remainder of his $20-million-a-year contract.
- Lauer was ousted from the Today Show after a sexual misconduct complaint against him was filed on Monday.
NBC News Chairman Andy Lack announced on Wednesday morning that Matt Lauer has been fired from “Today.” His lawyers are seeking for a massive $30 million payout.
“They are currently looking at his contract and determining whether the claims against him, which clearly would affect any moral clause in his contract and his ensuing termination, would cut off his contractual rights to be paid through the end of his contract,” a source close to Lauer said. Lauer’s $20-million-a-year contract would’ve kept him at NBC through the end of 2018.
A television insider was quoted by Page Six saying: “there is no way Matt is getting paid.”
The insider further explained: “There has been an irrevocable breach in Matt’s contract. There’s a moral clause that states if he brings the company into disrepute, NBC can terminate his employment immediately without pay and they do not have to pay out his contract.”
On Thursday, Lauer was seen meeting with real estate and criminal lawyer Eddie Burke Jr. in East Hampton. The former anchor was spotted handing Burke an envelope in a parking lot.
According to several sources, Lauer’s firing came after a woman, who had an alleged affair with him, filed a complaint on Monday. The sexual relationship reportedly began during the 2014 Sochi Olympics and continued when the two returned to New York. The unnamed staffer received illicit text messages from Lauer and are now considered to be evidence of his inappropriate conduct.
Despite his seniority over the staffer, Lauer didn’t see the relationship to be inappropriate.
“In his mind, this has been a consensual affair,” a source revealed to People. “And a long-term one at that.”
“He was totally devastated. He never thought it would get to this level. [He] was shocked and dumbfounded and completely bewildered by what happened,” the source added. “He never expected this. He had felt like he was invulnerable, like Superman.”
Lauer was not the only one shocked by his immediate termination from the morning show. He has been with “Today” for 20 years and those closest to him were equally dumbfounded.
“People who worked with him found him to be flirtatious, but that doesn’t mean he was necessarily inappropriate,” the source continued.
Multiple women have come forward with additional sexual misconduct allegations after his firing, as reported in the New York Times and Variety.
In a statement that was read on the “Today” show on Thursday, Matt Lauer said he was “soul searching” and apologized for his actions.