Disgraced talk show host, Matt Lauer, may be returning to television sooner than expected. Rumors are swirling that the 60-year-old — who was fired from Today in November following sexual assault allegations — will be returning to the show he left to give a tell-all interview with his replacement, Hoda Kotb.
A source told Celebrity Insider that Matt wants to repair his public image and garner sympathy from the public. "Matt knows it will take something really dramatic to change people’s opinion of him. An interview’s probably unwise, but he is desperate to be back on TV," a source told the outlet.
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The rumors contradict previous reports that claimed Matt had no intention of getting back on television anytime soon. In December, a source reportedly close to the NBC alum told Page Six that Matt only wanted to stay at his home in the Hamptons and play golf. Other reports, however, have indicated that doing the interview could help repair his relationship with his children and wife Annette Roque, who are on the verge of divorce.
Matt has been out of the spotlight for the last few months after news broke that he acted in a sexually inappropriate manner with a colleague at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He later released a statement apologizing for his behavior. "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. 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," Matt said.
"Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort," he continued. "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. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace."
Though Matt's former co-anchors appeared shocked at his exit and some even shed tears on air, he likely would not face a friendly interview upon his return. The ratings, however, would be through the roof. The morning show shot to the No. 1 spot after Matt's departure, and the controversy it caused brought a rush of attention to what the New York Post described as "car wreck viewing."
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