Former Today show cohost Meredith Vieira was “surprised” to learn Matt Lauer was fired following accusations of sexual assault. Though it’s been nearly two years since the scandal, the 65-year-old is opening up to Us Weekly about it now.
“I think everybody was surprised,” she told the outlet at the Veep season premiere in New York City on Tuesday, March 26. “It was handled by HR and the network, and that’s the way it should be done … I don’t think people ever saw [it coming].”
She added, “I worked closely with Matt. He was always very kind to me and my family and [was] a great dad from everything I could tell. You never know.”
Unfortunately for the now 61-year-old, he’s struggling to find work. An insider exclusively revealed to In Touch in February that the once beloved host isn’t planning his TV return at all, despite reports that he was gearing up for a comeback. The demand for the disgraced star just isn’t there.
“Matt’s friends are saying he has no plans to make a TV comeback, but the real truth is that no one really wants him back, not yet anyway,” the insider told us. “Matt shouldn’t be picky, but the few offers he got were embarrassing … He’s gotten some random web show offers, but that’s not something he’s going to do. If he accepted a web series, he’d get even more negative press.” They continued, “Matt’s waiting it out. He’s hoping some network or cable executive will eventually give him a shot.”
Meredith, who cohosted Today with Lauer from 2006 to 2011, says she feels bad for those directly affected by the journalist. “You never know in life about a lot of things. It’s just kind of a given,” the former View host said. “At my age … I know anything is possible, but I do think his family is lovely and I’m sorry for any pain that they’ve gone through along with all the women, obviously. But there are so many people who are in a situation like that; a lot of collateral damage.”
In April 2018, Matt broke his silence on the accusations, defending himself against claims of “coercive, aggressive or abusive actions,” stating that he had only “acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC.”
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