What You Need to Know About New Sexual Harassment Allegations Made Against Matt Lauer

After being fired from TODAY on Wednesday morning for  "inappropriate sexual behavior," Matt Lauer is now at the center of multiple women's accusations of sexual harassment. In addition to a colleague's initial complaint mentioned in the statement on Lauer's dismissal, the results of Variety's two-month investigation of him have revealed three women's experiences of Lauer sexually harassing them, while the New York Times reports that at least two more complaints about the former co-host have emerged at NBC. 

NBC News chairman Andy Lack's early morning statement revealing Lauer's termination read, "We received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer...we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident." Since the message was shared at the top of Wednesday's TODAY broadcast, horrifying details of Lauer's indiscretions have quickly surfaced, revealing that many journalists had been investigating claims made against him for months. 

Before the publication of Variety's comprehensive piece, the initial complaint about Lauer reportedly traced back to his behavior toward a colleague during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, TIME reports. The accuser allegedly "described inappropriate behavior in the workplace occurring throughout 2014." While no further details about the accuser's experiences were shared, sources including current and former NBC staffers, as well as Lauer's sexual harassment victims, did not hold back while speaking to Variety.

Accounts of Lauer gifting a coworker a sex toy, exposing himself to a female employee and making comments about a colleague's performance in bed showcase the amount of power Lauer had gained in his twenty-year tenure as a co-host. With his office in a "secluded space," Lauer even had a button under his desk that locked his door from the inside. Two of Lauer's victims claimed that this ability only encouraged Lauer to summon female employees into his office for inappropriate encounters. 

As the article seemed to suggest that Lauer was the only staff member to have this button, journalist Yashar Ali pointed out that both male and female executives at NBC have had the same kind of feature in their offices.

One of the new complaints reported by the Times came from a former employee who claims that, in 2001, Lauer called her to his office and had sex with her. Old footage of Lauer's former co-hosts Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira has also gained attention for revealing more of his troubling behavior. PEOPLE reports that TMZ released footage from a 2006 commercial break on TODAY of Vieira bending down to pick up papers and Lauer commenting, "Pretty sweater. Keep bending over like that. It's a nice view."

Similarly, during Couric's 2012 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, she admitted that Lauer's "most annoying habit" was that "he pinches me on the ass a lot."

As of Wednesday night, Lauer's replacement on TODAY has not been named. On a positive note, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb succesfully running the program amidst breaking news of the allegations suggests that having two female co-hosts would not only be possible, but perhaps what TODAY needs right now.