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Lauer on set in New York. Photo: Richard Drew / AP

Over the course of a two-month investigation, Variety talked to three women with stories of sexual harassment perpetrated by Matt Lauer at NBC. One woman said Lauer exposed himself to her and reprimanded her for refusing to engage in a sexual act. Another said he gifted her a sex toy with a lewd note.

The big picture: Several women told Variety that NBC has not adequately addressed past complaints about Lauer's behavior. NBC declined to comment, and Lauer could not be reached for comment.

Background: In an email to NBC staff Wednesday morning, NBC News chairman Andy Lack said the network is terminating Lauer's contract after an employee came forward with an allegation of sexual misconduct. Lack's email said that while this was the only complaint against Lauer in his 20-year career at NBC, the network has "reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

From Variety's report:

  • "The cause of his dismissal, according to sources, was a detailed complaint from another current NBC employee about inappropriate sexual conduct from Lauer that started on a trip at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and continued for several months."
  • Lauer's secluded office had a button under his desk with which he could lock the door without standing up. Two women who he allegedly harassed said he would use this mechanism to initiate inappropriate content with female colleagues.
  • "There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that's still a problem because of the power he held," says a former producer who knew first-hand of these encounters told Variety.
  • Lauer "would sometimes quiz female producers about who they'd slept with, offering to trade names.
  • He "loved to engage in a crass quiz game with men and women in the office: "fuck, marry or kill," in which he would identify the female co-hosts that he'd most like to sleep with."

Go deeper

Food delivery "ghost kitchens" face major obstacles

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The growing popularity of food delivery has given rise to startups that open "ghost kitchens" — kitchens in warehouses or trailers that prepare food solely for delivery and have no option to dine in.

  • But they can come with a whole host of problems.

The big picture: The concept of "ghost kitchens" has been dubbed the next big thing in the future of services, with high profile backers like Uber founder Travis Kalanick. But these kitchens can be hard to run or unsafe.

3 hours ago - Health

Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for health workers

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities nationwide.

The big picture: The order comes one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.

CNN suspends Chris Cuomo indefinitely

Chris Cuomo in 2019. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for THR

CNN announced Tuesday evening that it has suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely following new revelations about his involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Driving the news: New documents released Monday showed that Cuomo used his contacts to garner information about the women accusing his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment, as well as of emerging media coverage relating to the scandal.