Addie Zinone

In 2000, Addie Zinone was a 24-year-old Production Assistant on The Today Show when newly-married, 40-something Matt Lauer started aggressively hitting on her.

Addie’s story – largely in her own words – was first published in Variety, Dec 14, 2017, by Ramin Setoodeh.

Lauer’s very first message to her read, ” “i hope you won’t drag me to personnel for saying this. but you look fantastic.” In other words, he knew that what he was doing and saying was all kinds of wrong.

As if that wasn’t enough, at the end of their first private lunch – at which Zinone hoped to receive some professional career advice – he told her to leave the restaurant separately from him. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

Zinone, for her part, was so taken aback by the messages that she initially thought someone was playing a trick on her. After ignoring the messages, her reply was, “OK is someone screwing with me?”

But he didn’t give up and she succumbed to his advances, ending up in a month of sex in his dressing room.

The situation really took its toll on me. I changed physically. I changed emotionally. Fear crept into my life. I became unsure of myself. Any confidence I had was gone. For him, it was a conquest. 

Addie Zinone

Her career also suffered as the result of the encounter:

My experience on air as an anchor [in West Virginia, immediately after she’d left the Today Show] turned out to be so traumatic that I quit. I was in a depression. This man who I’d held on a pedestal had made me feel like my looks and my body were my true assets. He made it clear that he wasn’t interested in my skills or my talent. It just shattered everything.

Addie Zinone

The National Enquirer came sniffing around her about the story. It turns out Matt Lauer’s philandering and sexual harassment wasn’t exactly a secret. But she never sold her story. She wasn’t out for money. She just wanted to put it behind her.

But since we’ve now finally reached a moment in time that abusive men might possibly be held to account, she is adding her name publicly to the long list of women who Matt Lauer preyed upon.

Read Addie’s story in her own words in Variety, Dec 14, 2017, by Ramin Setoodeh.

Matt Lauer

Name: Matt Lauer

Age: 61

Role: Anchor, NBC’s The Today Show


8 female co-workers have accused Lauer of workplace harrassment and assault, including rape. Dozens more have spoken of 2 decades of abuse of power and flagrant verbal sexual harassment.
Matt Lauer Accused of Sexual Harassment by Multiple Women (Exclusive), Variety, Nov 29, 2017, by Ramin Setoodeh and Elizabeth Wagmeister

Since the original story broke, there has been a great deal of additional reporting – much of it by Ronan Farrow at The New Yorker and for his book, Catch And Kill.

Brooke Nevils (whose name was originally kept from the public) filed a human resources complaint with NBC on Nov 28, 2019 that Lauer raped her anally in a hotel room, without consent and while she was too drunk to consent, while they were reporting on the Sochi Olympics together in 2014.

She herself didn’t use the word rape in her complaint; but in the session with NBC lawyers that night, Nevils’ lawyers walked her through a series of questions that allowed her to describe what happened to her as clearly fitting the legal definition of rape. All this is reported in Farrow’s book Catch and Kill, and is summarized in this interview with NBC.

The account is also detailed in this article and in this one

Immediate Consequences:

Lauer was fired by the end of the HR meeting with Nevils and her lawyers in the wee hours of Nov 29. This left his former colleagues Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb to break the news to the viewing public at the start of the show that morning, just 3 hours after having learned of it themselves.

Fired from NBC on Oct 17, 2017 – see the tweet

Lauer’s Initial Response:

Statement of apology on Oct 17, 2017 – read his statement

Lauer’s Ongoing Responses:

In October 2019, Lauer issued a statement denying Nevils’ allegation (after it came back into the news as the result of the publication of Farrow’s book Catch and Kill), saying it was consensual. He went on to say the allegation is “categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense,” and that it is all part of a scheme to promote Farrow’s book.

Here we would list 1, 2 or 3 articles that we as editors think most accurately and/or comprehensively captures what’s important about the set of allegations against this person. For each we include a one-paragraph summary.

Variety Magazine

conducted a 2-month investigation, during which many of Lauer’s current and past co-workers said the sexual harassment and assault was rampant. Read the story here

Need editorial summary

These are the 3 (5? 10? ) most ____ (notorious? Impactful? first???) of Matt Lauer’s accusers.  

Click here {link} for the full list; as well as links to all the reporting about the accusers and their stories.

Anonymous Accuser #1

The accuser who catalyzed Matt Lauer’s firing remains anonymous, but it has been reported that his harassment and assault of her began while they were covering the 2014 Sochi Olympics together. She and her attorney brought her accusations to NBC’s HR department on Oct ___, 2017 and Matt Lauer was fired by the network within 48 hours.

More about Anonymous Accuser #1: {link}

Anonymous Accuser #2:

Another of Matt Lauer’s anonymous accusers is a subordinate who claims that after Lauer asked her to his office, he locked the door and bent her over a chair to have intercourse. She passed out during the incident and awoke on the floor, at which time Lauer called the nurse.

More about Anonymous Accuser #2: {link} 

Addie Zinone

Present age: 41

Age at incident: 24

Role/relationship at incident: Production Assistant at NBC news

Accusation: an abuse of power that led to a month-long consensual relationship

Addie’s story: by Ramin Satoodeh, Dec 14, 2017

More about Addie {link}  so far the only thing I’ve found that would go on a “more” page is her video interview with Megyn Kelly – unless the link for more about Addie just goes to her section of the list of all the accusers, mentioned above??

Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC News, released the following statement on ___: I can’t find a link to this statement – it would be better to do that than to print it here. Also I”m pretty sure this isn’t the full statement…  

“Dear colleagues, on Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

Today Show host Savannah Guthrie and guest host Hoda Kotb took the air later that day to read the statement and give their reaction to their viewers. See the video here.

Matt Lauer’s only response has been to release the following statement on Oct __, 2017:

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. 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 people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.

I can’t find a link to this statement – it would be better to do that than to print it here.

Ann Curry on CBS This Morning  

Corey Feldman, on The Dr. Oz Show

I haven’t been able to find a clip of him actually on the show…

The New York Times, Nov. 29, 2917

By Ellen Gabler, Jim Rutenberg, MichaelM. Grynbaum and Rachel Abrams