Former friends: Matt Lauer has tightened his inner circle five years after he was fired from the Today show and 'semi-slammed' by his former Today co-host Katie Couric, pictured together, in her memoir

Matt Lauer has tightened his inner circle five years after he was fired from the Today show and ‘semi-slammed’ by his former Today co-host Katie Couric in her memoir. 

The 64-year-old former NBC News star has ‘kind of withdrawn from several friendships in the last year’, particularly after Couric released her 2021 memoir Going There, a source told People in an article on Monday.

‘He was really upset by Katie Couric’s book. She shared their private text messages and she semi-slammed him. It made him lose trust,’ the insider said.

Former friends: Matt Lauer has tightened his inner circle five years after he was fired from the Today show and 'semi-slammed' by his former Today co-host Katie Couric, pictured together, in her memoir

Former friends: Matt Lauer has tightened his inner circle five years after he was fired from the Today show and ‘semi-slammed’ by his former Today co-host Katie Couric, pictured together, in her memoir

The source added that Lauer’s ‘level of trust’ has diminished in large part due to Couric’s book and ‘because talking to people from his past is painful.’

Lauer was described by the insider as a ‘semi-empty nester, not working’ in ‘transitional time’ with his son Jack, 21, daughter Romy, 19, who are both in college, and his 16-year-old son Thrijs.

Couric and Lauer were co-hosts of NBC’s flagship morning program Today from 1997 to 2006.

Lauer was fired from his job at NBC’s Today in November 2017 after allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace relating to the Sochi Olympics in 2014. He claimed the sexual encounters he had with his accuser were consensual. 

Difficult: The source added that Lauer's 'level of trust' has diminished in large part due to Couric's book, pictured, and 'because talking to people from his past is painful'

Difficult: The source added that Lauer’s ‘level of trust’ has diminished in large part due to Couric’s book, pictured, and ‘because talking to people from his past is painful’

At the time, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack said it was the ‘first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News,’ but claimed they had reason to believe there were other incidents.

After he was dismissed by NBC, The New York Times reported that two more women complained about Lauer. Speaking to the publication, one former employee said that the 64-year-old had sexually assaulted her in his office in 2001.

In an article published on the day he was fired, Variety published an article detailing incidences of harassment which had occurred. He was portrayed as a serial harasser of women.

Sad: Lauer was described by the insider as a 'semi-empty nester, not working' in 'transitional time' with his son Jack, 21, daughter Romy, 19, who are both in college, and his 16-year-old son Thrijs. Pictured: Lauer takes a walk on a rainy day in East Hampton in May

Sad: Lauer was described by the insider as a ‘semi-empty nester, not working’ in ‘transitional time’ with his son Jack, 21, daughter Romy, 19, who are both in college, and his 16-year-old son Thrijs. Pictured: Lauer takes a walk on a rainy day in East Hampton in May

Lauer released a statement after he was sacked, saying that he was ‘truly sorry.’ He wrote: ‘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.

‘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,’ he added. ‘The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.’

Happier times: Couric and Lauer, pictured on air, were co-hosts of NBC's flagship morning program Today from 1997 to 2006

Happier times: Couric and Lauer, pictured on air, were co-hosts of NBC’s flagship morning program Today from 1997 to 2006

In 2018, he spoke out against the allegations. He said in a statement to the Washington Post: ‘I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months.

‘I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost. 

‘But defending my family now requires me to speak up. I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC. ‘However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false,’ he said.

Good days: Lauer and Couric were cohosts on the Today program for years

Good days: Lauer and Couric were cohosts on the Today program for years 

Later, in Ronan Farrow’s 2019 book, Catch and Kill, his accuser went public. Producer Brooke Nevils claimed that Lauer anally raped her while the two were covering the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Lauer claimed that their sexual encounters were consensual.

He released an open letter about the claims that same year, writing: ‘I had an extramarital affair with Brooke Nevils in 2014. It began when she came to my hotel room very late one night in Sochi, Russia. We engaged in a variety of sexual acts. We performed oral sex on each other, we had vaginal sex, and we had anal sex. Each act was mutual and completely consensual.

‘The story Brooke tells is filled with false details intended only to create the impression this was an abusive encounter. Nothing could be further from the truth. There was absolutely nothing aggressive about that encounter. Brooke did not do or say anything to object.’

Private: In Couric's memoir she shared portions of the text messages she sent to him. She wrote to him: 'I am crushed. I love you and care about you deeply. I am here. Please let me know if you want to talk. There will be better days ahead.' He responded with a blowing kiss emoji

Private: In Couric’s memoir she shared portions of the text messages she sent to him. She wrote to him: ‘I am crushed. I love you and care about you deeply. I am here. Please let me know if you want to talk. There will be better days ahead.’ He responded with a blowing kiss emoji

He continued: ‘She certainly did not cry. She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner.’

Later in the letter, Lauer suggested that Nevils accused him because she was upset about their split.

‘I admit, I ended the affair poorly. I simply stopped communicating with her. Brooke continued to reach out,’ wrote Lauer.

‘She admitted to NBC at the time she filed her complaint that she called me late at night while I was home with my family in an effort to rekindle the affair.’

After the allegations, the 64-year-old split with wife Annette Roque in 2019 after nearly two years of separation.

After the allegations, the 64-year-old split with wife Annette Roque, pictured in 2017, in 2019 after nearly two years of separation. Currently, five years after being sacked by NBC

After the allegations, the 64-year-old split with wife Annette Roque, pictured in 2017, in 2019 after nearly two years of separation. Currently, five years after being sacked by NBC

In Couric’s memoir she shared portions of the text messages she sent to Lauer, which left him ‘really upset’ as the memoir also ‘semi-slammed’ him.

She wrote to him: ‘I am crushed. I love you and care about you deeply. I am here. Please let me know if you want to talk. There will be better days ahead.’

He responded with a blowing kiss emoji.

Drifted: Last year, Katie, pictured with Matt, spoke on Today to explain how she felt in the aftermath of hearing about the allegations. She said that it was a 'really, really hard' experience which took her a long time to process

Drifted: Last year, Katie, pictured with Matt, spoke on Today to explain how she felt in the aftermath of hearing about the allegations. She said that it was a ‘really, really hard’ experience which took her a long time to process

Last year, Katie spoke on Today to explain how she felt in the aftermath of hearing about the allegations. She said that it was a ‘really, really hard’ experience which took her a long time to process. 

The 65-year-old said that Matt had been kind, generous and considerate and a good colleague when they were working together. She explained that she then got more information and did her own research about what was going on behind the scenes.

She said that after she did some of her own reporting and spoke to people, she found that it was ‘really devastating’ and disgusting.

Couric said that she realized there was a side to Matt that she did not know. She tried to understand why he behaved how he did and how he was so reckless, callous and abusive to other women.   

She had been left shocked after hearing the allegations, calling his behavior grossly inappropriate. 

Last year, she also revealed her friendship with Lauer, pictured together, 'just fizzled out' in the wake of his downfall from multiple sexual assault allegations, adding that the disgraced anchor 'probably thought that I had abandoned him'

Last year, she also revealed her friendship with Lauer, pictured together, ‘just fizzled out’ in the wake of his downfall from multiple sexual assault allegations, adding that the disgraced anchor ‘probably thought that I had abandoned him’

Last year, she also revealed her friendship with Lauer ‘just fizzled out’ in the wake of his downfall from multiple sexual assault allegations, adding that the disgraced anchor ‘probably thought that I had abandoned him.’

‘I think it’s sort of clear through the text messages that I shared, and some I didn’t because I thought they were too personal that he had written – I sort of paraphrased them – you could see when I didn’t call him that time because I heard about another situation involving a young woman I had brought to NBC.

‘And we were scheduled to have a phone call to discuss what was going on and I said, ‘I’m going to call you in a few days,’ I think he probably knew I had read that article and probably thought that I had abandoned him’, she said. 

The journalist, who has worked at all three major networks, clarified that she was never all that close to Lauer outside of work.

‘People are like, ‘How did you not know?’ And I think people just don’t understand that the Today show is like being in a Broadway play. 

‘You can have incredible chemistry, have so much fun, everything can click, you get to know each other really well to the point of finishing each other’s sentences, but for us, that was two hours in the day. As much as I enjoyed working with Matt, we were not social friends. We had very separate lives.’

Parade duty: NBC stars Couric and Lauer are shown hosting the 2000 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Parade duty: NBC stars Couric and Lauer are shown hosting the 2000 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

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