Matt Lauer Is “Ashamed” & Apologizes for Sexual Misconduct: “There Is Enough Truth In These Stories”

Matt Lauer has issued his first statement since being fired from NBC News after he was accused of sexual harassment. The now-former Today show anchor admits there is “enough truth” to the allegations and apologizes for his behavior, adding he is “embarrassed” and “ashamed.”

Anchored by Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, Today’s top story on Thursday morning (Nov. 30) was, once again, Lauer. The broadcast began with their former colleague’s first official statement regarding the matter.

Lauer 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.

“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.”

Lauer was fired yesterday after a colleague filed a detailed complaint against him on Monday and NBC News determined he displayed “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” The specific incident reportedly occurred during the 2014 Sochi Olympics and continued thereafter.

Though NBC stated this was the first formal complaint against Lauer, a two-month investigation by Variety reports that multiple women “identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment by Lauer.”

Variety reported that Lauer once gave a female colleague a sex toy as a gift that also included a note describing how he would use it on her.

Another accuser claimed Lauer once summoned her to his office, dropped his pants and exposed his penis to her. She claims he reprimanded her when she refused to engage in any sexual activity.

“Work and sex were intertwined” for Lauer, a source told Variety. It was also claimed that the anchor “had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from inside without getting up.”

The New York Times also reports that NBC received two more formal complaints against Lauer since Monday. One of these was by a woman who claimed Lauer called her to his office and had sex with her in 2011. She did not report the encounter at the time because she “felt ashamed.”

A 2006 clip of Lauer making a lewd comment towards co-anchor Meredith Vieira also surfaced yesterday. Back in 2012, longtime Today partner Katie Couric even revealed Lauer frequently pinched her butt.

Matt Lauer joined NBC News in 1992, becoming the official Today co-anchor in 1997.

Matt Lauer Is “Ashamed” & Apologizes for Sexual Misconduct: “There Is Enough Truth In These Stories” is a post from: Gossip On This – Pop Culture, News, Videos & Humor


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Erica Mena Reportedly Joining “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” As Joseline’s Replacement

Has Mona Scott-Young found her Joseline Hernandez replacement? Rumors are swirling that she has and it’s none other than Love & Hip Hop OG, Erica Mena!

The Jasmine Brand is exclusively reporting that Erica has joined Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. Erica starred on LHH New York for four seasons until she quit the show in 2015. Sources tell TJB Erica is returning to the franchise and the Atlanta cast has welcomed her with open arms.

“She said she would never return to the show, but she’s back. They even threw her a party in Atlanta—on camera of course—to celebrate her official return to the show and welcome her to the A.”

Rumors of Erica rejoining the franchise were sparked by Erica herself in late-October when she asked her followers if she should make a comeback.

VH1 also released an “Evolution of Erica Mena” video just days after Erica’s tweet.

Sources add that she was added to the Atlanta cast because it “didn’t make sense for her to return to New York” since she’s always in Atlanta. “Her storyline and relationships were a better fit” for LHHATL, The Jasmine Brand reports.

Erica left the New York series in 2015 after starring in the show for four seasons. She was engaged to Bow Wow at the time and wanted to end the reality show chapter of her life. However, the two eventually broke up.

Sources also tell The Jasmine Brand that Bow Wow—who now stars on Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta—did not want his fiancée on reality TV.

“He thought it was ghetto and beneath her. It just wasn’t a good look, as far as he was concerned.”

Nothing has been confirmed by Erica, VH1 nor Mona Scott-Young. Nonetheless, blogs are already deeming her “the new Joseline.” Fan-favorite Joseline Hernandez abruptly quit the show earlier this year.

Erica Mena Reportedly Joining “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” As Joseline’s Replacement is a post from: Gossip On This – Pop Culture, News, Videos & Humor


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Video Shows Matt Lauer Telling Meredith Vieira “Keep Bending Over Like That,” Katie Couric Says He Frequently Pinched Her Butt

The morning news world is still grappling with the news that longtime Today show anchor Matt Lauer was swiftly fired for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” However, his former co-anchor Katie Couric spilled some troubling tea about Lauer’s behavior way back in 2012.

In light of the Lauer’s firing and alleged behavior, a clip of Couric revealing he would often “pinch her ass” has resurfaced. Couric appeared on Watch What Happens Live! with Andy Cohen in 2012 and was playing the fan-favorite game “Plead the Fifth.” She was asked what was Lauer’s most annoying habit.

“He pinches me on the ass a lot,” she answered with a slight grimace followed by a half smile. “Wow! I wouldn’t have a problem with that,” Cohen joked.

Couric and Lauer served as the official Today anchors for 11 years, with Couric leaving the show in 2006.

Shortly after Couric’s 2012 clip resurfaced, a second video leaked. The 2006 clip shows Lauer making a lewd comment to co-anchor Meredith Vieira. “Keep bending over like that. It’s a nice view,” he said as Vieira was getting mic’d up.

The comment was made during a commercial break and was not broadcast on national television. However, it was picked up by a local NBC affiliate that had remained on the NBC studio feed. Vieira had recently replaced Couric at the time.

In a company memo on Wednesday morning (Nov. 29), NBC News announced the decision to terminate Lauer’s employment was made after a colleague filed a detailed complaint on Monday.

NBC did not go into specifics, but anonymous sources tell Page Six Lauer assaulted a staffer during their coverage of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The NBC memo noted that this was the first formal complaint against Lauer, but they had “reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.” It has also been reported that the New York Times had been investigating sexual harassment allegations against Lauer for weeks.

Variety had been investigating the matter for at least two months. Current and former staffers tell the publication Lauer once exposed himself to a female employee and gave a sex toy to another as a gift. Variety also reports he enjoyed playing “F*ck, Marry, Kill” with his female co-hosts.

Matt Lauer has not commented on the allegations against him nor his firing from the Today show.

Video Shows Matt Lauer Telling Meredith Vieira “Keep Bending Over Like That,” Katie Couric Says He Frequently Pinched Her Butt is a post from: Gossip On This – Pop Culture, News, Videos & Humor


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Watch “Black Ink Crew Chicago” Season 3 Episode 17

“Black Ink Crew Chicago” Season 3 Episode 17 aired on VH1 Wednesday night (Nov. 29).

Ryan blows up after his staff betray him; Neek accepts a project in Africa, so Charmaine goes to extreme lengths to keep him in Chicago; Lily hooks up with another 9Mag tattoo artist; and Don’s world is turned upside down.


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Watch “Star” Season 2 Episode 7

“Star” Season 2 Episode 7 aired on Fox Wednesday night (Nov. 29).

Star’s jealousy finally kicks in when Noah and Alex begin spending more time together, both inside and outside of the studio. Ayanna throws a curveball, moving the showcase date up, giving everyone only two weeks to prepare. Worried about Cotton, Carlotta and Jahil team up to get to the bottom of her recent change in behavior. Meanwhile, Maurice steps in to help Noah get back on his feet, when he notices him struggling to catch a break.


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Watch “Empire” Season 4 Episode 7

“Empire” Season 4 Episode 7 aired on Fox Wednesday night (Nov. 29).

Production comes to a halt on Empire’s 20-For-20 when Calvin and Portia, feeling overworked by their new producer, Eddie Barker, call for a strike, leaving Cookie to find a solution to the issue. In an attempt to prove that he can still be the man he was before the explosion, Lucious arranges a deal on Hakeem’s behalf. Meanwhile, Jamal and Andre express their feelings for their significant others.


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Watch “Gucci Mane & Keyshia Ka’oir: The Mane Event” Episode 7

“Gucci Mane & Keyshia Ka’oir: The Mane Event” Episode 7 aired on BET Tuesday night (Nov. 28).

Keyshia travels to Las Vegas for her bachelorette weekend. Shekinah and Erica get into an argument and threaten to spoil Keyshia’s weekend.


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“Today” Show Anchor Matt Lauer Fired From NBC Over “Inappropriate Sexual Behavior” Claims

And another one bites the dust. Matt Lauer is the latest celebrity to be fired over sexual misconduct allegations.

NBC News announced early Wednesday morning (Nov. 29) that they were forced to let Lauer go after an employee filed a complaint about “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”

“Today” show co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb seemed emotional as they announced Lauer’s firing, telling views that they were processing his departure but weren’t privy to all of the details just yet.

NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said in a memo to employees Wednesday morning that a complaint made by a female colleague of Lauer’s prompted a serious review and represented a “clear violation of our company’s standards.”

Lack said this was the first complaint about 59-year-old Lauer for inappropriate behavior since taking over as the show’s anchor in 1997, however, there was “reason to believe” this may not have been the first time it’s happened.

“Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender,” Lack said.

According to sources, Lauer has been the subject of an investigation from the New York Times for weeks, and reporters for Variety have also been discussing “serious sexual harassment allegations against Lauer” for at least two months.

“NBC was aware” of the reporting, Variety’s Elizabeth Wagmeister tweeted. “There are multiple women we’ve spoken to with far-ranging accusations against Lauer. The power of journalism has never been more evident with this cultural change.”

A spokeswoman for NBC News declined to comment beyond the information provided in Lack’s memo.

Ari Wilkenfeld, who said he’s representing Lauer’s female accuser, told The New York Times that he and his client met Monday evening with reps from NBC’s Human Resources and Legal Department.

“Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace,” Wilkenfeld said. “While I am encouraged by NBC’s response to date, I am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing.”

Guthrie, who joined Lauer on “Today” 2012, said that she was “heartbroken” for both him and the “brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their stories to tell.”

“I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come,” she said. “And we promise we will share that with you.”

Guthrie said it can be difficult to make sense of sexual misconduct allegations against a longtime friend/colleague.

“How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly and I don’t know the answer to that,” she said. “But I do know that this reckoning, that so many organizations have been going through, is important, it’s long overdue and it must result in workplaces where all women — all people — feel safe and respected.”

Kotb added that she’s known Lauer as a friend and colleague for 15 years and “it’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day.”

Lauer’s name is added to an increasingly growing list of high-profile men in entertainment, politics, and media who are facing sexual misconnection allegations.

Just last week, Charlie Rose was fired by CBS News, PBS and Bloomberg after eight women accused him of past sexual harassment and unwanted advances in a Washington Post report. Rose, who co-hosted “CBS This Morning” apologized for his behavior via statement but said that some of the allegations were false.

Lauer’s firing comes after NBC News also terminated its senior vice president for booking, Matt Zimmerman, after finding out about “inappropriate conduct” with more than one woman at NBC’s parent company NBC Universal.

NBC News also cut ties with senior political analyst Mark Halperin after multiple reports surfaced that he sexually harassed at least a dozen women while serving as political director for ABC News.

Before joining Guthrie on “Today,” Lauer also shared his co-anchor duties with Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry, who made a tearful exit from the show in 2012. Curry said she felt humiliated by a “boy’s club” culture at the show.

Matt Lauer’s journalism career began in television markets throughout the country before he returned to his native New York and eventually began working for local NBC station WNBC as a co-anchor of the morning news program.

The married father of three began filing in on “Today” in 1992 and two years later was promoted as a news anchor before taking over for Bryant Gumbel in ’97.

Along with Katie Couric, Lauer went on to become a marquee name with NBC and helped “Today” maintain its status as a ratings powerhouse with countless interviews of world leaders and celebs, as well as coverage of presidential campaigns and Olympic Games.

Last year, Variety reported that Lauer’s contract with NBC had been extended through 2018 for $20 million a year, keeping him as one of the highest-paid anchors on TV.

The flood of sexual misconduct allegations began after reports from The New York Times and the New Yorker about allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, and since then, actors Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. have been suspended or removed from projects following allegations against them being made public.

Other prominent journalists, including NBC’s Mark Halperin and Michael Oreskes of NPR, have been fired or suspended from their jobs as well.

In addition to the aforementioned, the growing list of men accused of sexual misconduct includes actors Jeffrey Tambor, Steven Seagal, Ed Westwick, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven and Ben Affleck. The list also includes political figures such as Senator Al Franken and former president George H.W. Bush.

Matt Lauer didn’t immediately comment on the announcement of his firing.

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Ja Rule Is 41 and Setting Thirst Traps on Instagram for Likes and….It’s Working

In many ways, time has not been kind to Ja Rule at all. His music career has dried up, shriveled up and disappeared completely.

His entrepreneurial reinvention and makeover went completely bust when his Fyre Festival went bankrupt and had to cancel at the last minute. But one area where Ja remains “blessed and highly favored” is when it comes to his body.

The Murda Inc. honcho uploaded a recent shirtless pic to his Instagram account that sent da ‘gram into a dizzying spell of “damn zaddy!” exclamations.

Ja has never been shy when it comes to showing off his washboard abs. They were on display in his debut with Jay-Z on the smash single “Can I Get A…” way back in 1998.

Ja is a lot less scrawny these days though and he’s giving his fans something to get excited about since his music and failed business ventures aren’t doing the trick.

Instagram Photo

Ja’s post garnered over 22,000 likes on Instagram, which vastly outpaces his usual likes, where he averages 4,000, 5,000, or 2,000. Not to mention the immediate pick-ups Ja got from The Shade Room and Baller Alert, which also racked up serious hearts and probably countless “Hey, Big Head!” DMs.

The funny thing is, the photo that Ja is “breaking the internet” with is actually a repost. The original sat largely ignored as part of a three-image post on November 2, where he asked if his Fast & Furious character should be revived.

Instagram Photo

The picture, which was the last the in the set, was dark, underexposed and poorly cropped. Someone on his social media team must’ve advised Ja that if he put the right IG filter on it….he could get poppin’! And so on Nov. 27, Ja reposted the image with the Amaro filter (I think), a better crop and a caption that shouts out God in that faux deep way that Instagram thots do when they want to show off their flesh and pout seductively but pretend like they were just caught undressed in the middle of a profound moment.

Honestly, you can’t be mad at Ja. The bills gotta get paid somehow and if flexin’ his bawdy on da ‘gram lands him a role in Chocolate City 3, good for him. And again, he’s 41. The world remains in awe of the BAWDY that J.Lo has been able to maintain at 48, so Ja deserves his roses too. Men can bring the sexy back in their 40s too.

Ja Rule Is 41 and Setting Thirst Traps on Instagram for Likes and….It’s Working is a post from: Gossip On This – Pop Culture, News, Videos & Humor


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Tyrese Claims He Didn’t Go to Abu Dhabi to Do Hosting After Telling the Internet He Was Going to UAE to Do Hosting

I know that pointing out that Tyrese’s behavior on social media is erratic is a bit like saying Sammy Sosa’s skin seems to have gotten a little lighter these days. But still, I can’t help but chuckle at the foolery that Tyrese displays to the world in the name of….I guess therapy?

After emerging somewhat victorious in the contentious custody battle over his daughter Shayla, Tyrese decided to retreat to the UAE for some MUCH needed rest and relaxation. But although he made it clear that he was eager to get away from it all, he also spelled out explicitly that he was traveling to conduct business meetings and “to host.”

Instagram Photo

Hosting is how a lot of your favorite reality stars and up-and-coming rappers really pay their bills, because the TV checks ain’t all they’re cracked up to be and very few reality TV stars cross over as actual music successes (minus Cardi B) so getting paid to “host” club parties is a reliable, profitable revenue stream for MANY celebrities.

The fact that Tyrese, a multimillion-dollar-earning actor and musician who shouldn’t have to be hosting club parties at this stage in his career, is out here hustling for coins in clubs or private parties shows how much damage his tirades on social media have done to his career. But hey, take that humble pie cause those $5 million he said Jada and Will were wiring into his account ain’t never comin’, so he might as well get busy.

Now imagine my surprise when 6 days after he posted an IG video with a caption SAYING he was going to the UAE “to host,” he posts a different video in which he scolds and corrects an airline employee who says they didn’t realize he was coming to town to host. Tyrese immediately insisted to the young man that he wasn’t there “to host” any parties.

Instagram Photo

Say what?!

Tyrese’s medication needs to be revisited because this man is incapable of keeping up with the lies he told within the same week.

Of course, Tyrese lying about not going to Abu Dhabi to host isn’t the craziest thing to come out of his trip. No, that would be the bizarre videos where he forces his wife to participate in his social media broadcasts. Her face is perpetually in a tight grimace and she looks like she’s starring in a hostage video and would rather be anywhere in the world than next to Tyrese.

Instagram Photo

I don’t think Samantha Gibson is gonna make it through the rest of 2017 as Tyrese’s wife, y’all.

Tyrese Claims He Didn’t Go to Abu Dhabi to Do Hosting After Telling the Internet He Was Going to UAE to Do Hosting is a post from: Gossip On This – Pop Culture, News, Videos & Humor


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