Top executives at NBC News learned that two news outlets were working on articles about sexual misconduct involving Matt Lauer several weeks before a female worker came forward with the accusations that led to the firing of the longtime “Today” anchor, the network said Friday.
But the network could not find any evidence of complaints against Lauer, or settlements that might have been reached. And when executives asked Lauer directly if there ever was any sexual misconduct, Lauer denied it, saying he was “racking his brain and couldn’t think of anything at all,” one executive said.
The executives who questioned Lauer included NBC News President Noah Oppenheim and NBC News Chairman Andy Lack.
The statement from the network's senior management came as NBC News launched a review into the events that ended with Lauer’s dismissal on Wednesday. The network also flatly denied that Lauer would receive any kind of monetary settlement. Lauer was fired “for cause” and there will be no final payout, one executive said.