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On Wednesday, two former NBC employees said in television interviews that the network should conduct a new, outside investigation into Matt Lauer’s conduct.
“There needs to be an outside investigation into this company,” former NBC host Megyn Kelly said on Fox News. “They investigated themselves. That doesn’t work. … This is how it’s done. You get somebody on the outside who can be trusted.”
Earlier in the day, former NBC News host Linda Vester made a similar proposal. “Comcast, the parent company, should launch a real investigation with outside investigations right away,” she said. (Former Today show employee Addie Zinone also endorsed an outside investigation in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.)
But a rep for NBCUniversal on Thursday told THR that there will be no new outside investigation. “There is no additional investigation being launched. We are very confident in the report that was conducted,” stated spokesperson Hilary Smith.
Added Smith: “We fired Matt Lauer within 24 hours of learning what he did, and promptly launched a corporate investigation. Based on our investigative findings, we have swiftly taken appropriate actions to address the situation and improve workplace culture. It is also worth noting that this was a corporate investigation that was conducted by an almost entirely female team, none of whom are part of the News division.”
Smith is referring to an internal investigation that was led by NBCUniversal general counsel Kimberley Harris, with consultation from two outside law firms. NBC employees were emailed a summary of the report’s findings on May 9, 2018. The report, which was based on 68 interviews, concluded: “We found no evidence indicating that any NBC News or Today show leadership, News H.R. or others in positions of authority in the News Division received any complaints about Lauer’s workplace behavior prior to Nov. 27, 2017.”
But the report also mentioned that “a number of individuals interviewed said that Lauer could be flirtatious, would frequently make jokes, some with sexual overtones, and would openly engage in sexually-oriented banter in the workplace. Several women also credibly described to the investigation team being the subject of what they believed was a sexual overture from Lauer in which he complimented them on their appearance in sexually suggestive ways.”
Smith said that Harris was well-suited to oversee the investigation and “has the perfect qualifications for this job.”
Harris, who joined the network from a corporate law firm in 2013, spent two years working in the White House Counsel’s Office, rising to become principal deputy counsel and deputy assistant to then-President Barack Obama.
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