NBC News Refuses to Conduct Outside Investigation of Matt Lauer

US
Matt Lauer (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

NBC News has confirmed that they will not commission an outside investigation into the alleged sexual misconduct of former Today Show host Matt Lauer.

“There is no additional investigation being launched,” NBC spokeswoman Hilary Smith told the Hollywood Reporter on Friday. “We are very confident in the report that was conducted.”

Smith was referring to an internal investigation into Lauer led by NBC Universal General Counsel Kimberley Harris, with aid from external law firms. The findings of the investigation, a summary of which was released to NBC employees on May 9, 2018, stated that NBC officials had not received formal complaints regarding Lauer’s conduct before November 27, 2017.

However, investigators also found Lauer could be “flirtatious, would frequently make jokes, some with sexual overtones, and would openly engage in sexually-oriented banter in the workplace.”

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Lauer denies the allegations against him.

Former NBC reporter Ronan Farrow has repeatedly alleged that the company received complaints of sexual misconduct against Lauer years before his 2017 firing from the Today Show, and that network executives tried to suppress Farrow’s story on movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct due to concerns that Weinstein would expose Lauer’s misconduct.

Farrow further alleged that NBC entered into multiple non-disclosure agreements with women who reported Lauer’s behavior.

NBC head Noah Oppenheim has denied Farrows allegations, labelling them a “conspiracy theory.”

On Wednesday former NBC host Megyn Kelley called for an outside investigation into the company to discover whether or not the non-disclosure agreements exist.

“Based on our investigative findings, we have swiftly taken appropriate actions to address the situation and improve workplace culture,” Smith said in her defense of NBC’s 2018 investigation. “It is also worth noting that this was a corporate investigation that was conducted by an almost entirely female team, none of whom are part of the News division.”

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