9:00am PT by Beth Landman
Matt Lauer Spotted in Low-Key Hamptons Hangouts
After nearly two years of exile, Matt Lauer is tiptoeing back into society in New York summer enclave Sag Harbor.
The former Today host had been hunkered down at Strongheart Manor, the 14,000-square-foot North Haven compound he bought from Richard Gere for $36.5 million in 2016, a year before getting booted by NBC amid sexual misconduct claims.
Locals have spotted Lauer, 61, cruising around during the day on his motorcycle, and in the evenings around the bar area inside Sag Harbor’s American Hotel, the chic restaurant Dopo La Spaggia, and Noyac waterfront spot Bell and Anchor. He has been seen with his friends, family and Eddie Burke Jr., one of the Hamptons’ best known attorneys.
A woman who speaks with him regularly says he has never been seen with a female other than friends or his daughter Romy, and a frontman at a popular restaurant says he often dines alone. “He asks to be seated in a quiet corner of the bar or dining room so that people won’t notice him," says the source.
One local says he is most off-guard and friendly in the mornings when he frequents a popular Sag Harbor java shop called SagTown Coffee. “He comes in to have breakfast and read the papers and is surprisingly friendly," the source reports. “A lot of people come up to him to say hello and be supportive, and he is receptive."
Lauer’s ex-wife, Annette Roque, has also been seen around, and they occasionally cross paths. Observes a real estate insider: “Strongheart Manor has three separate houses on the property, so they could be there at the same time and never see each other."
While there have been no sightings of Lauer on a date, Roque was spotted recently at Bilboquet with a mystery man, sharing photos and laughing.
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.