Former Today star Matt Lauer and his new girlfriend, Shamin Abas, have been friends for at least 15 years, and In Touch can exclusively reveal how they grew from pals to lovers just three months after his divorce was finalized.
The disgraced TV host, 62, was first linked to the public relations executive, 50, back in 2005 when they were spotted together at a swanky restaurant in Florida. At the time, their meetings appeared to be friendly, as he was still married to Annette Roque. But as Roque distanced herself amid Lauer’s controversies, Abas became closer with the journalist. Sources tell In Touch Lauer was “on the prowl” for a new romance, and it seems he found it right under his nose with Abas. “Obviously one thing led to another and they’re a full-fledged item now,” an insider tells In Touch.
Allegations against the former anchor don’t seem to bother his new love interest, and that likely has to do with her upbringing. She learned how to deal with criticism at a young age while growing up in the small town of Llandegfan, Wales. “We were the darkest kids in town,” the PR exec, 50, told The Palm Beach Post in 2010, revealing how she developed a thick skin. “There was a lot of teasing.”
An insider exclusively tells In Touch, “If she gets funny looks for being with Lauer, I can see it just rolling off her back.”
Abas also knows a thing or two about life in the spotlight. Due to the nature of her work, the brunette beauty socializes in the same circles as several controversial stars, including Russell Simmons and Star Jones. Her PR company also collaborates with other high-end clients ranging from Dom Pérignon and Rolls-Royce to Ferrari and NetJets.
Like Lauer, she shares a passion for travel, often spending her free time in New York City and the Hamptons. Abas also regularly visits Palm Beach, Florida, where Lauer’s family previously owned a $44 million beachfront home, before he was forced to sell it amid the divorce.
On top of that, she has gone through heartbreak of her own. Abas was married and divorced twice before she started dating the ex-TV personality. Similarly, Lauer finalized his divorce from his ex-wife in September 2019.
Now that Lauer and Abas are dating, both appear to be very pleased with how their relationship is evolving. “Matt [seems] to be really happy,” a source tells In Touch. “His famous grin is back.”
As In Touch exclusively revealed, the dynamic duo was recently spotted catching a flight out of New Jersey on December 19. Lauer’s new flame bears a striking resemblance to his ex, so when they boarded the plane, “some people thought it was Annette,” an eyewitness says.
Abas and Lauer arrived at his breathtaking property in New Zealand on December 21 for a fun-filled holiday trip. The couple enjoyed bike rides and shopping together during their romantic rendezvous.
Time will tell if the lovebirds are in it for the long haul.
To learn more about this story, pick up the newest copy of In Touch Magazine, hitting newsstands on January 1.
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