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Matt Lauer Is 'Weak and Broken and Ashamed' After Today Show Firing, His Friend Says

From TIME - December 5, 2017

A week after NBC fired Matt Lauer, the ousted anchor is still reeling.

He is weak and broken and ashamed by his own admission, one of Lauers former Today show colleagues tells PEOPLE in this weeks issue.

He is my friend, the colleague adds. He is human, and he is flawed. But is he going to use his power to be a predator on women? Until I see solid evidence of that, I just cant believe it. We dont know the details.

Lauer, 59, was terminated after the network received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior, with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident. A source later told PEOPLE that Lauer was let go due to sexual misconduct with that woman throughout 2014, including at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (Another source with knowledge of the situation said Lauer had viewed this relationship as consensual and was dumbfounded by the accusation.)

In the wake of his firing, several insiders have told PEOPLE that the veteran morning host was allegedly often unfaithful to his wife of 19 years, Annette Roque. Women have also anonymously accused him of sexual harassment and assault in reports published by Variety and The New York Times.

All of us are career women, and not one of us would have put up with an environment thats as distasteful as has been described, the colleague insists. There was never anything I was offended by on any level. I wouldnt have put up with it. Neither would any of us.

Lauerwho joined the network in 1992 as a newsreader on Today, had been co-anchor of the morning show since January 1997 and reportedly signed a $20 million dollar contract last yearbroke his silence on the allegations in a statement read Thursday morning by his former co-hosts on-air.

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