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Matt Lauer's Today Show co-star shares rare update on anchor's life away from the spotlight

The former Today Show host left the show in 2017 following sexual assault allegations

Matt Lauer attends NBC's "Today" at Rockefeller Plaza on September 29, 2017 in New York City
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
13 June 2023
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While Matt Lauer has been largely shunned by both his former Today Show co-hosts and fans following his 2017 departure from the long running show, he appears to still have one former co-star by his side.

The Today anchor left his role of 20 years after allegations of both sexual harassment and assault were brought to light, through an NBC employee, subsequent investigations, and the explosive Ronan Farrow 2019 book Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.

He has since retired from public life, though fellow former Today anchor Bryant Gumbel, who is the third longest-serving Today anchor behind Matt and Katie Couric, gave a rare update on how his former colleague is doing.

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Speaking with Page Six at The Apollo Spring Benefit in New York City this week, the former television anchor revealed that despite Matt's controversies, the two speak "almost" every day.

"He's doing great," he said, adding that he's "doing fine" and described him as "a good man." Mat, age, took over Bryant's role when he left the show in 1997 after 15 years as anchor, and the two remained close friends. 

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The latter was even Matt's best man during his wedding to ex-wife Anne Roque – mother of his kids Jack, 21, Romy, 19, and Thijs, 16 – in 1998. The former couple finalized their divorce in 2019 following his sexual assault controversy, and he has since been romantically linked to Shamin Abas.

Bryant Gumbel and Matt Lauer during The Grand Opening Of the Fashion Cafe in 1995 at The Fashion Cafe in New York City, New York, United States© Getty
Bryant and Matt at 1995 opening of The Fashion Cafe in NYC

In turn, Matt was also Bryant's best man, when in 2001 he married Hilary Quinlan, after divorcing his wife of 28 years, June Baranco, the same year.

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Though Bryant has maintained a friendship with Matt, the same cannot be said of their former colleague Katie, who recently opened up about his "disgusting" and "sad" actions.

Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Bryant Gumbel in Phoenix, AZ in May 1996© Getty
The former Today trio in 1996

The veteran journalist was part of the NBC family for nearly 20 years, having joined Today as national political correspondent in 1989, and she later became permanent co-anchor of the morning show in 1991, until 2006.

Al Roker, Katie Couric, Bryant Gumbel, Matt Lauer and Willard Scott on set during Bryant Gumbel's last show in 1997© Getty
The three Today stars, plus Al Roker and Willard Scott, during Bryant's last show in 1997

While Katie was no longer on the Today Show by 2017, she witnessed from afar Matt's demise, and weighed in on it during an appearance on Kelly Ripa's new Sirius XM podcast Let's Talk Off Camera.

She recalled the moment she first learned of Lauer's actions, and told Kelly: "I remember using the word 'disgusted' to talk about Matt's behavior, and I think my overwhelming emotion is just being so disappointed and so sad." 

Bryant Gumbel and Matt Lauer attend day 15 of the 2014 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2014 in New York City© Getty
Matt and Bryant in 2014, 17 years after the latter's Today departure

The two longtime media industry titans discussed both Matt's unceremonious departure as well as  the ousting of NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell,also over  sexual misconduct allegations, earlier this year, describing it as "reckless" behavior.

Matt Lauer, Katie Couric  (Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)© Getty
The two former Today hosts started working together in the late 1990s

"It just amazes me that a powerful executive like that would be so dumb, just be so stupid and reckless," she said of the former CEO, adding: "I think reckless is the word. You can see how it happens, but I think you have to be smart and disciplined and know that unless you tell your supervisor, and unless you're not a direct report, that having a relationship with a colleague isn't cool."

She continued: "It's so self-destructive, that behavior," adding: "Is it worth it? Or comport yourself in that way, get a divorce. Go to your superiors. Do the right thing, for your career, and your personal decisions."

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