In 2016, Natalie Morales left her role on the Today show for a position with Access Hollywood in Los Angeles. While it appeared to be a regular career move, sources told Page Six there was more to her abrupt departure. “There’s an awkwardness between Matt and Natalie . . . He protected her for a long time, and now it seems like something has gone awry,” an insider said, alluding that Matt Lauer and Morales had an inappropriate relationship.
Meanwhile, another source claims that couldn’t be further from the truth. “There’s no validity to it. Zero fact,” the individual told the outlet. “NBC News loves her. Her contract was up in the fall, and she wanted to try something new,” the insider continued.” News of an alleged affair was shocking because Morales had been married to Joe Rhodes since 1998, and Lauer was married to his wife, Annette Roque. However, Morales was the first to deny the rumors. “It is damaging, hurtful, and extremely sexist,” she told Page Six. “This move was dictated by me and my desire to grow in my career. Any insinuations beyond that are uninformed.”
Lauer followed up with a similar statement calling out the “untrue” story. “It’s frankly sad that someone would tell lies to harm everyone involved,” he said. Although they were able to clear up any doubt, Lauer got caught up in his own mess.
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).