Despite being outed as an alleged serious sexual assaulter, Matt Lauer is hoping for a massive payout.
The former host of NBC’s “Today” program is reportedly having his lawyers negotiate a $30 million payout for his contract, which was set to expire in 2018.
Sources close to Lauer told Page Six he has a $20 million-a-year contract, and still has a year-and-a-half left in his run.
Lauer negotiated favorable deal last year, but his claim to the remainder of the money may be affected by the contract’s inclusion of moral clauses, which typically allow networks to fire talent whose conduct brings the company into disrepute.
One source said:
“They are currently looking at his contract and determining whether the claims against him, which clearly would affect any moral clause in his contract and his ensuing termination would cut off his contractual rights to be paid through to the end of his contract.”
Another insider doubted Lauer’s lawyers will prevail.
“There is no way Matt is getting paid. There has been an irrevocable breach of Matt’s contract, there is a moral clause that says if he brings the company into disrepute — which he clearly has — NBC can terminate his employment immediately without pay and they do not have to pay out his contract.”
The accusations against the TV host are major. Eight women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct including assault.
One unnamed former employee says Lauer forced her into having sexual intercourse, locking the door with a button under his desk and violating her until she passed out on the floor of his office. The woman claims her situation was severe enough to require medical attention.
Lauer has kept a low profile since his firing on Wednesday. He issued an apology on Thursday stating some of the allegations against him are “untrue or mischaracterized,” but that there is enough truth in the story for him to feel “ashamed.”
Matt Lauer’s statement is half-hearted at best. Notice all the “I”s. Only half a sentence is given to the victims. He has twisted this into a fashion for feeling sorry for him and gives LITTLE attention to the victims. On behalf of the #metoo movement, apology not accepted. pic.twitter.com/RVEUJyDoXv
— 🌻 Becca Hargis 🌻🤗 (@LunaLuxeCandles) November 30, 2017
Also on Thursday, Lauer was seen meeting with East End real estate and criminal lawyer Eddie Burke Jr., who is known for defending basketball player Jason Kidd after a drunk driving incident.
Lauer’s dismissal from NBC coincides with the firing of several mainstream media personalities over sexual allegations, including high-levels employees at NPR, Vice Media, and Vox Media.
Many Americans are dismayed at the possibility of Lauer receiving $30 million after the sexual assault allegations.
I’m just horrified that millions of dollars have been paid out as hush money / these guys deserve a boot in the backside, not a huge pay out
— (((Mia Bloom))) (@MiaMBloom) November 30, 2017
I hate him but I also hate the many people who knew about his behavior and did nothing, or even worse shamed the victims into silence.
— Jessica Montoya Coggins (@JessicaMCoggins) November 30, 2017
Still don’t get it Matt? You’ve been bad. Very, very bad. You will be in prison & paying the women you attacked millions. No payout for you. Even though they didn’t care before, something tells me there’s a clause in your 25,000,000 contract that addresses behavior like this. ?
— Shaherezade (@Shaherezad) November 30, 2017
Regardless it is in his contract or not, he is not entitled to any compensation due to the seriousness of his misconduct. The money should be evenly divided among his victims for the emotional pain they suffered.
— Peter Bafkas (@bafpet) December 1, 2017
And he has publicly apologized (i.e. admitted) for it. I wonder what angle his lawyers would take?
— Ryan Kerzner (@Ryan_Kerzner) November 30, 2017
It should be paid to the women he abused. No way he should benefit from it.
— Carlette Jones (@carlettej1) November 30, 2017
He was fired for cause. Unless NBC approved a badly-worded contract — always a possibiliity — he should not get the rest of his compensation.
— Sybill Trelawney (@SybilT2) November 30, 2017