What's next for Matt Lauer?

Matt Lauer's time as the king of morning news is over. He was fired from the Today show in late November 2017 after more than 20 years anchoring the a.m. staple, and the details behind his dismissal are harrowing. Lauer was accused of nearly two decades worth of sexual misconduct, ranging from sending inappropriate messages to colleagues and underlings to coercing employees lower on the totem pole into sexual relationships to allegations of sexual assault. 

Adding insult to injury is the fact that Lauer allegedly engaged in all of this behavior while he was married. He didn't even deny all of the accusations levied against him, saying in a statement: "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 disappointment 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 dearly." He continued, "Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I'm committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job." So, how has the disgraced anchor's life changed since making that statement?

He's going through an expensive divorce

Matt Lauer's sexual misconduct at work took its toll at home as well. In August 2018, Entertainment Tonight reported that the disgraced anchor's wife, Annette Roque, was poised to take home $20 million of Lauer's cash in their divorce settlement, and the pair agreed to joint custody of sons Jack and Thijs and daughter Romy. A source told Entertainment Tonight that Lauer "has a lot of guilt about how things went down and he wants to make sure Annette is taken care of." 

Since getting the ball rolling on their divorce, the source claimed Roque and Lauer "seem happier and their family and friends are thrilled to see they are both moving forward." It seems like this split was a long time coming, regardless of the scandal. Radar Online reported that Roque had previously filed for divorce from Lauer in 2006, but she later rescinded the filing. Insiders also told People that Roque was "shopping for a divorce lawyer" in 2014.

He may be dating again

Is Matt Lauer moved on? Sources told Radar Online that the former Today host has been hooking up with a mysterious young blonde. An insider told the site, "He's sleeping with a young blonde in her 20s in the Hamptons. It's getting pretty serious. They're even planning a winter getaway to New Zealand when it gets cold on the east coast."

The insider added that Lauer's ex wife, Annette Roque, was actually happy that Lauer had a new lady in his life, despite the bitter circumstances surrounding their divorce. "Annette is thrilled he found a gal pal. She wants to be done with him. When Matt gets lonely he wants to get back together with her, and she doesn't want that at all … The only two things Annette wants from Matt is her money and to tell him good riddance once and for all."

He's been unloading his pricey properties

Time estimated that Lauer made a cool $100 million during his tenure at NBC, and it appears that since his ouster, he may be trying to adjust his lifestyle accordingly. The New York Post reported in September 2018 that he sold an Upper East Side apartment for $8 million, while Page Six reported that he parted ways with a Sag Harbor, N.Y. spot for $12.75 million, as well as one of his vehicles, a Range Rover.

Lauer also almost lost his $13 million New Zealand farm after the sexual misconduct scandal broke, thanks to a clause in the country that requires foreign residents who purchase property there to be "of good character" — and to allow a certain amount of public access to the property. An investigation eventually cleared him to keep the farm, which makes the world wonder whether "good character" is really just "good credit." In a post-firing interview with Radio New Zealand, Lauer addressed the land-rights scandal, claiming he was "an easy mark" because of the accusations against him, and that he was clearly being made an example of, since "this has not been done ever before with a pastoral lease holder or property owner without that person's consent."

Is he plotting a comeback with Megyn Kelly?

Is Matt Lauer networking with his former colleagues because he's staging a comeback? A source told Page Six in August 2018 that a cheery Lauer told a group of restaurant patrons who said they missed him, "Don't worry, I'll be back on TV." The same outlet also reported two months prior that Lauer was spotted dining with veteran Today producer Deborah KosofskyOn top of that, a source told Radar Online that Lauer was planning to capitalize on some impending changes coming to NBC by pilfering staff from Today for a comeback project in an effort to exact revenge on everyone who ousted him. "Once [management changes at NBC News happen], Matt will have his chance to redeem himself on-air and have his revenge on those who looped him with the #MeToo era's worst scoundrels," and insider told the tab. 

Sources also told Radar that since Megyn Kelly was fired from NBC, she's also reached out to Lauer about doing a new morning show together, in an effort to go head-to-head with the show that spurned them both. Kelly even remarked to Us Weekly of Lauer's future plans, "I know too much that others don't know." 

He's getting advice from Katie Couric

One former Today colleague with whom Lauer has remained particularly close is Katie Couric, who co-anchored with him from 1991 to 2006. A source told Radar Online, "They're a lot closer than people think. Matt's been putting in strategy calls to Katie and she's giving him tons of advice in both his personal life and career … She's still got a soft spot for the guy and wants to see him make a comeback," the insider continued. "She's telling friends she believes he's truly sorry."

It's not too surprising, as Couric somewhat defended Lauer on The Wendy Williams Show in May 2018. "It's been a very painful time for a lot of people who worked with Matt, knew him, really care about him, and who never witnessed or experienced any of this behavior that is now obviously being talked about … I can only talk about my personal experience and I was always treated respectfully and appropriately." She added, "A lot of stuff gets misreported and blown out of proportion."

He's not socializing much, but he is bonding with Bill O'Reilly

While Lauer certainly has a lot of time on his hands since he got fired from Today, he's not spending his freedom with his friends. A source told People that the former anchor is "keeping a low profile," adding, "He's been staying close to home and focusing all his energy on the kids. If he does go out, it's for them." 

However, some insiders claim that Lauer has found a kindred spirit in another disgraced newsman accused of sexual harassment: Former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly. "They've built a tight friendship and have bonded with one another since they've been fired. They talk daily," a source close to O'Reilly told Radar Online. The source also noted that both Lauer and O'Reilly are "still mad as hell [at being fired] … they both think they got a raw deal."

Ann Curry may or may not be enjoying all this

In January 2018, Ann Curry, who Lauer allegedly got fired from Today in 2012 after serving as her co-anchor for just one year, spoke out about his scandal on CBS This Morning. "I'm trying not to hurt people. I know what it's like to be publicly humiliated. I never did anything wrong to be publicly humiliated, and I don't want to cause that kind of pain to somebody else," she said. "But I can say … I would be surprised if many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed [at NBC]. I think it would be surprising if someone said they didn't see that. Verbal sexual harassment was pervasive … This is about power, a power imbalance where women are not valued as much as men."

While Curry was clearly diplomatic, she admitted on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that Lauer's firing may be "karma" and that she did giggle at memes and tweets about her reaction to Lauer's troubles.