People all over the country start their days with his friendly face — but for the first time ever, Matt Lauer’s dark side is being revealed.

In Sept. 2006, the Today show anchor’s wife, Annette, filed for divorce, only to withdraw her lawsuit weeks later. And now the legal documents have surfaced — in which the 48-year-old alleges to have experienced “cruel and inhumane” treatment at the hands of her husband, who allegedly demonstrated “extreme anger and hostility” toward her.

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“The conduct of defendant [Matt] so endangers the physical and mental well-being of the plaintiff [Annette] so as to render it unsafe and improper for plaintiff to cohabit with defendant,” Nancy Chemtob, an attorney for the former model, reportedly argued in the legal documents.

“Defendant has continuously and repeatedly given higher priority to … personal interests than his family obligations to plaintiff, causing plaintiff to feel abandoned, isolated and alone in raising the parties’ children.”

matt and jack lauer

Matt and his oldest child, Jack.

The paperwork goes on to allegedly argue Matt was “extremely controlling” of his wife, saying he refused “to allow plaintiff to make even the smallest decisions without his approval, including, but not limited to, decisions regarding finances, travel plans, decorating the parties’ homes and domestic help issues.”

Strangely enough, Annette revoked the claims and took Matt back just months after filing.

Earlier this month, on Oct. 3, the couple celebrated their 16-year wedding anniversary with their three kids, 13-year-old Jack, 11-year-old Romy and 7-year-old Thijs, who was born just two months after Annette filed for divorce.

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A source close to Matt and Annette says they are happier than ever — and the claims were extreme, but technically necessary.

“These divorce papers were filed more than eight years ago and revoked three weeks later,” the insider tells Radar.

“In New York at the that time, irreconcilable differences could not be considered grounds for divorce. A spouse had to prove cruel and inhumane or unsafe treatment, which meant that lawyers had to get creative to establish grounds.”

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