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Disgraced Former "Today" Anchor Matt Lauer Is "Planning a Comeback," Insider Says

The ex-host was fired in 2017 after a sexual misconduct complaint.

According to a new report, former star news anchor Matt Lauer is eager to get back into the public eye, seven years after he was fired from Today in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. While he has not reemerged professionally since, Lauer has made some public appearances, including attending Don Lemon's recent wedding. According to a source who spoke to Us Weekly, the 66-year-old is laying the groundwork for making "a comeback" in the news industry.

RELATED: Why Tucker Carlson Was Really Fired by Fox News, New Book Reveals.

"He wants to be relevant again," an insider recently told the outlet. While the source added that "what that is exactly is yet to be decided," they did specify that he's eyeing a return to media.

"He's started to talk to people," they continued. "He's planning his next act, still very upset with how he was portrayed, and still feels like he was the victim."

In November 2017, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie announced on air that Lauer had been terminated after NBC received a "a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," as reported by People. Journalist Ronan Farrow wrote in his 2019 book Catch and Kill that former NBC producer Brooke Nevils told him that Lauer sexually assaulted her when they were in Sochi, Russia to cover the 2014 Olympic Games. (Lauer denied the accusation and claimed they had a "consensual" affair.)

More accusations followed the news of his firing in 2017, including claims from colleagues that Lauer exposed himself, gave a sex toy as a gift, invited female co-workers to his hotel rooms when on assignment, and often discussed sex and rated women's attractiveness in the workplace. A Variety report includes the infamous claim that the anchor had a button under his desk that would lock his office door from the inside.

In a 2017 statement, as reported by People, Lauer said, in part, "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. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly."

Now, Lauer resides on Long Island and spends much of his time with girlfriend Shamin Abas, with whom has been in an on-again, off-again relationship since 2019. (He and his second wife Annette Roque divorced in 2019 after being separated for two years following the emergence of the accusations.)

The source told Us Weekly that the disgraced anchor now feels as though "enough time has gone by" since his firing that he is actively "planning a comeback." They also added that the scandal caused him considerable embarrassment.

"He went from being the biggest guy out there, and now every headline [attached to him] is 'disgraced'; it's very painful for him to go out there with his girlfriend," the insider added. They characterized Lauer as "very thin-skinned."

The source added that no one should "expect an apology" from the former host, as he's "the one who feels [he] is owed an apology."

Per the insider, Lauer's appearance along with Abas at Lemon's wedding to longtime partner Tim Malone in New York City on April 6 was part of the plan. (In 2023, Lemon was fired from CNN after making sexist remarks about Nikki Haley on the air.) The source told Us Weekly that Lauer was "testing the waters" and "wants to show that he's in a stable relationship" and is "not a playboy."

Best Life has reached out to Lauer for comment on the source's claims.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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