NBC Investigation Finds No Wrongdoing in Handling of Matt Lauer Case

Calvin Saunders
May 10, 2018

"I ask NBCUniversal to retain an outside investigator to look into sexual harassment and any coverup of sexual harassment at NBC News".

Today, NBCUniversal released the findings of its internal probe into the company's higher management following Matt Lauer's firing in November.

Chris Gardner, the reporter who interviewed McGowan, noted the former "Charmed" star was upset, in part, because Obama's daughter, Malia, had once interned at the now-defunct Weinstein Company.

Even though Lauer was known for being "flirtatious" in the workplace, most witnesses reportedly "had positive things to say about Lauer's demeanor in the workplace". We can not change the past.

Although the witnesses interviewed were generally aware of official Company channels to raise workplace issues, a number of them said they had concerns about reporting inappropriate workplace conduct to News HR, including: a lack of familiarity with News HR representatives; a fear of retaliation; a belief that complaints can not or will not be kept confidential; and a lack of a private environment in which to raise issues, because News HR sits in glass-walled offices among other News Division employees. He offered a seven-point plan for "a safer and more respectful environment", including more training for managers, mandatory workplace training, and "constant vigilance, monitoring and measuring progress". Similar concerns regarding a lack of anonymity and fears of retaliation were raised about reporting complaints directly to management.

Throughout NBC's investigation, network leadership also denied that former Today co-host Ann Curry had discussed Lauer's behavior with them.

The report continues: "All four women who came forward confirmed that they did not tell their direct manager or anyone else in a position of authority about their sexual encounters with Lauer".

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An attorney who represented one of the women who came forward to NBC about Lauer's behavior said Thursday called for more to be done. Following the complaints, Lauer was sacked from the network's popular "Today" show.

One of Lauer's accusers claimed that he sexually assaulted her in his office in 2001, the New York Times has reported. The manager, who was not identified, agreed at the time to reassign the woman so that she would not travel alongside Mr. Lauer. The probe also interviewed Pat Fili-Krushel, who ran the news division before Andy Lack.

The report suggests that employees were aware of Lauer's marital problems and that he had had extramarital affairs, though they believed, "with limited exceptions", that the affairs were with women outside NBC, according to the report.

Curry said she approached two members of NBC's management team after an NBC female staffer told her she was "sexually harassed physically" by Lauer. "Both companies and their employees are best-served when employees feel comfortable coming forward", said Ari Wilkenfeld, who also represents Linda Vester, a former NBC News employee who has made allegations about NBC News icon Tom Brokaw".

When Lauer was sacked, several outlets reported that Lauer had a special button at his desk that could close the door to his office without his needing to get up.

ET obtained the report on Wednesday, which says that the investigation team found four women's allegations that the 60-year-old anchor engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace to be credible, but that they also found credible the statements from those in leadership positions that they were unaware of his behavior. It recommended improved training, more communication from management, and improvements to employee complaint-reporting channels.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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