Following Matt Lauer’s prompt termination from NBC over allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct, some of the former Today host’s on-air moments are now coming under (warranted) scrutiny. Take a Today show sexual harassment parody, aired in 2012, in which Lauer makes light of inappropriate sexual advances in the office and paints himself as a victim. Or his uncomfortable interview with Anne Hathaway, also from 2012, that features Lauer making a creepy comment about an invasive up-skirt photo of the actress that was circulating at the time.
The latest clip to resurface comes from a 2016 episode of The Meredith Vieira Show. During an interview with her former Today co-host, Vieira gently chides Lauer about once finding a “huge bag of sex toys” in his dressing room closet.
“We had a guest on the show…she was a sex therapist,” Lauer said, trying to explain himself. “When she left, she gave each of us a shopping bag of stuff. True story. I didn’t know what to do. I put it in my closet in my dressing room.”
He then went on to add that, the very next day, former First Lady Laura Bush was a guest on the show and the Secret Service found the bag in his room during their security sweep—a revelation that caused Vieira, Savannah Guthrie (who was also part of the segment), and the audience to roar with laughter.
Of course, placed in context of Variety‘s explosive investigation alleging that, among other things, Lauer once gave a coworker a sex toy as a present along with a note detailing how he’d want ot use it on her, what was intended to be a risque but lighthearted moment takes on an entirely new—and disturbing—interpretation. And, for what it’s worth, Vieira didn’t get “a bag of stuff” from the therapist despite Lauer noting that she was the one who led the segment.
This wasn’t the only troubling moment between Lauer and Vieira. In another video—this one shared by TMZ—Lauer is caught on camera between staring at Vieira as she leans over the Today show set’s coffee table. “Nice sweater,” he began, before telling her, “Keep bending over like that. It’s a nice view.”
Just add both of these to the growing list of Lauer moments that make our skin crawl.