Through the years Matt Lauer was often accused of having cheated on his wife of nearly 20 years. But it took accusations of “inappropriate sexual misconduct” and his firing from NBC’s Today show for Annette to visit divorce lawyers. Whether or not the estranged couple works things out remains open.
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Matt Lauer’s second marriage and the threat of another divorce
Matt Lauer and Annette Roque met in 1997 during a blind date they were set up on. Matt had previously been divorced in 1988 and after he was hired by NBC for the Today show, producers wanted him to settle down. After his divorce Matt had developed a reputation as a playboy and NBC’s family friendly program needed a different image for him.
Within a year of meeting, Matt proposed to Annette and the two married in 1998. Their first son was born three years later. Daughter Romy followed another two years later and by 2006 Annette was pregnant with number three.
Despite so obviously having ‘settled down’ with wife and children, Matt continued to have a reputation as a ladies’ man and Annette was known to be quite jealous. Apparently she was aware of his reputation preceding their marriage and was afraid of his wandering eye. With good reason, because by all accounts his eyes not only wandered, but his hands roamed where they were not supposed to.
Annette filed for divorce in 2006, still heavily pregnant. She accused Matt of “cruel and inhumane” treatment adding that his “extremely controlling” behaviour left her to feel “abandoned, isolated and alone in raising the parties’ children”. Cheating, however, was not among the accusations filed in court papers that were leaked in 2014. By the way, ‘irreconcilable differences’ were not yet a thing in 2006, hence the wording as above.
Three weeks after Annette filed for divorce, she withdrew the petition. Much later it emerged that Matt had proposed a post-nuptial agreement in order to save his marriage. It promised millions to Annette in case the couple should ever divorce. He was intent on saving his marriage and apparently willing to pay a hefty price.
Cheating accusations through the years
Nevertheless the rumours of his cheating persisted. Almost all allegations concerned female co-workers. For instance, the main rumour that prompted Annette to file for divorce to begin with was an alleged affair between Matt and his co-correspondent Natalie Morales in 2006.
Both he and Morales denied the accusations. But it was not to remain an isolated instance. Matt was accused of having an affair with Giada de Laurentiis, who herself divorced Todd Thompson. Once again both parties denied the allegations.
And eventually it was Matt’s alleged crush on Lara Spencer that fuelled new rumours.
Whilst rumours of cheating followed Matt Lauer through the years, there has been little evidence for them. Just being seen with other women cannot possibly count for evidence. But the fact that rumours continued on and off is not exactly helping his reputation as a womanizer.
Nearly 20 years of marriage
Still, despite it all Matt has been able to hold onto nearly 20 years of marriage now. By all accounts he is a doting father and whilst he mostly lives in New York during the week, his first concern appears to be his three children.
Annette and the children live in the Hamptons almost all the time, however. It’s not exactly feasible for Matt to commute to work all the way from the Hamptons to Manhattan every day, so this arrangement is understandable. He used to only come out to be with his family on the weekends.
Naturally Annette’s jealously doesn’t seem entirely unwarranted under such circumstances. But locals in the Hamptons have called her a ‘sad and lonely’ wife and she’s not exactly a social butterfly either. If she’s not out with her husband and friends, she barely seems to go out at all. Raising her children and riding horses seem to be her main pastime.
How Matt and Annette remained married for nearly 20 years almost seems a mystery. Especially now that we know how despicable his behaviour truly was.
Matt is fired for inappropriate sexual misconduct
On the 29th November 2017 NBC issued a statement that Matt Lauer had been fired for “inappropriate sexual misconduct”. The main accusation concerned his alleged harassment of a NBC employee during the Sochi Winter Games in 2014.
The accuser complained to her bosses and since the first accusation emerged, a number of other women have come forward to make accusations or reveal their affairs with Lauer. One happened as long ago as 2000. Whilst that affair was apparently consensual, there was also a clear “abuse of power” on Matt Lauer’s part.
The accusations against Matt Lauer are part of a wave of other accusations against powerful men in the media community, among them Harvey Weinstein and Louis CK. Women are no longer afraid to speak out and they have been doing so loudly and repeatedly in 2017.
Matt is one of the few who’ve made a concrete statement, at least partially admitting their fault: “There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappoint I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish deeply. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I am committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job.”
Will they or won’t they
The question of whether or not Annette Roque and Matt Lauer will divorce remains an open one at this point. Right after Matt was fired, Annette was seen without her wedding ring and apparently she was so furious and disappointed that she demanded Matt take his wedding ring off as well.
She was also seen visiting a divorce lawyer, but we are not aware that any further concrete steps have been taken.
Her father apparently had strong words for the actions of his son-in-law and seemed to rule out that the couple would reconcile. They did spend Christmas and New Year’s apart, though sources are adamant that Matt wants to save the marriage.
He may very well be deeply ashamed of his own actions. But he has committed them, repeatedly. How any wife is supposed to forgive that is difficult to see.
Friends may be of the opinion that the estranged couple’s first concern are their children. But how is saving a broken marriage going to benefit the children? They’re old enough to know what is going on and apparently Matt and Annette have been truthful with them.
It is said that the two are taking it one step at a time – whatever that may mean. Annette has no real reason to forgive Matt his actions. And he has every reason to seek forgiveness not just from his wife and family, but from a lot of other women as well.
We shall see whether the two of them will work it out or whether Matt is finally due for another divorce.