The footage, first posted by TMZ, takes place on the set of Today, and was reportedly shot in October 2006. The comments made by Lauer are clearly audible and were made while the show cut to commercial. A local affiliate kept the show live on-air with the network’s in-studio camera feed.
WATCH BELOW: The latest on Matt Lauer’s firing
“Pretty sweater,” said Lauer to Vieira as she leaned over in front of him to grab scripts. “Keep bending over like that. It’s a nice view.”
Lauer, 59, has been a fan favourite on Today for more than two decades. He first joined the show in 1994 as a newsreader; within four years he was the show’s co-anchor. He’s worked alongside noted and respected journalists Vieira, Katie Couric and Ann Curry over the course of his tenure.
This isn’t the first footage to implicate Lauer. In a 2012 interview on Watch What Happens: Live, Couric told host Andy Cohen that Lauer “pinches me on my a** a lot.” (You can watch this exchange in the video, below.) Cohen had asked her what Lauer’s most annoying habit was.
Early Wednesday morning, Lauer was fired from his job after a colleague accused him of “inappropriate sexual behaviour.”
Industry publication Variety released a report late Wednesday alleging that “multiple” women have come forward with sexual harassment accusations against Lauer. Variety claims it has spent the last two months investigating him, interviewing dozens of current and former employees at NBC.
On Thursday morning, Lauer apologized and said he was “soul searching.”
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Lauer said in the statement released to the network. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry.”
Lauer said that some of what he has been accused of is untrue and mischaracterized but said, “there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.”
“Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort,” Lauer said. “It is now my full-time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws.”
(Watch the Vieira video, top.)
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