Matt Lauer’s high-paying tenure at NBC News came to an end Wednesday, reportedly over inappropriate sexual behavior that began at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The network ousted Lauer after a colleague filed a “detailed” complaint about him Monday night, which turned out to be “a clear violation of our company’s standards.”
MSNBC later reported the incident happened during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi — and continued after the games in Russia ended.
“As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment,” NBC News chief Andrew Lack wrote in a staff memo that did not specify where the incident happened.
“While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
The firing appeared to be sudden, as Lauer’s colleagues appeared emotional as they broke the news Wednesday morning.
Lauer was supposed to co-host the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center that night.
“I will tell you, right now we do not know more than what I just shared with you,” a choked-up Savannah Guthrie said, flanked by co-host Hoda Kotb at the opening of “Today.”
Lack told staff Lauer understood why he was being fired and said he was sorry, sources told CNN.
The New York Times reporters met with Lauer’s accuser on Monday afternoon, the newspaper said, but noted she isn’t ready to go public about the incident.
Ari Wilkenfeld, the woman’s lawyer, said they met with NBC officials for “several hours” Monday night.
“Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace,” Wilkenfeld told the Times on Wednesday.
“While I am encouraged by NBC’s response to date, I am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing.”
A Variety reporter also tweeted that the trade magazine has been working on a piece about misconduct by Lauer.
His departure comes not long after the network fired Matt Zimmerman, who was in charge of booking for “Today” and other programs, for “inappropriate conduct,” Variety reported Wednesday.
The 59-year-old anchor, who was under contract through 2018, was one of NBC New’s highest-paid talents. Variety in August reported his annual salary at $25 million.
He started filling in at the show 25 years ago while still working with the local affiliate WNBC. Lauer became a fulltime reporter with “Today” in 1994.
Lauer was tapped to co-host the long-running morning show 20 years ago when Bryant Gumbel left.
His tenure featured major interviews like Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2006, but was also marred by the well-documented departure of co-host Ann Curry in 2012. The two reportedly clashed, forcing Curry out at the network.
Rumors swirled in 2016 that Lauer and fellow “Today” host Natalie Morales had an affair — the end of which prompted her to move to “Access Hollywood” in Los Angeles. Lauer denied those suggestions to several media outlets.
Lauer’s wife, Annette, had accused the once-revered anchor of “cruel and inhumane” behavior against her in a 2006 divorce filing obtained by In Touch Weekly three years ago.
The divorce papers, which accused Lauer of “extreme anger and hostility,” were pulled within three weeks and the couple reconciled, the magazine reported.
The firing comes amid the wave of sexual harassment allegations, which began with scores of women accusing Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of improper acts.
A week ago, veteran newsman Charlie Rose was fired from “CBS This Morning” and PBS after numerous women accused him of sexual misconduct over decades.
And Lauer is the second high-profile figure to get the boot at the company after MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin was let go in October. Several women accused the “Game Change” author of sexual harassment while he was ABC News’ political director.
NBC News is among the networks grappling with misconduct claims over the years.
Fox News nudged out ratings king Bill O’Reilly earlier this year after reports he and the network quietly settled several sexual harassment lawsuits.
The conservative-leaning network also parted ways with founding CEO Roger Ailes in 2016, after he was accused of sexually harassing several women at Fox News, including Megyn Kelly.
Kelly, now a “Today” host, was among those NBC News personalities who appeared shaken by Wednesday’s news.
President Trump was quick to lash out at the Lauer firing, as well as the NBC executives he called “Fake News practitioners.”
Trump, whose reality show “The Apprentice” previously ran on NBC, has condemned Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) over misconduct allegations, but has continued to back embattled Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in spite of the claims against him.