Matt Lauer Had an Affair With a ‘Today Show’ Assistant While He Was Married
Matt Lauer and his second wife, Annette Roque, are reportedly trying to make their marriage work amid his sexual harassment allegations and firing from NBC.
But turns out this isn't the first (or even the second) time the former Today Show host has had scandal regarding his marriage, as now a former production assistant is coming forward, alleging they had an inappropriate affair back in 2000.
The accuser is 41-year-old Addie Zinone, who, in a lengthy first-person piece for Variety, reveals she and Matt, who was 40 and married to Annette at the time, had a behind-the-scenes sexual relationship seventeen years ago.
“Hey, I hope you won’t drag me to personnel for saying this, but you look fantastic,” the then 42-year-old reportedly wrote to her in text messages. “I don’t know what you have done, or what is going on in your life … but it’s agreeing with you.”
At that point, Addie says, she had taken another job in West Virginia and wanted to get some advice from Matt before leaving.
Over a month after her initial request, he obliged, but not in the way she had hoped.
“He was there to hit on me and manipulate the situation, and I fell for it,” she told Variety.
“Here’s how I should have known what I was getting myself into. When we left, he told me: ‘You leave first, and I’ll leave after.’ In no lunch I’d ever had at Today had anyone suggested we leave separately, as if something was up.”
From there the relationship turned sexual, even though the then 24-year-old knew he was married and didn't want to have sex with him.
“He opens the door. There you go. It crossed the line. It was a consensual encounter. It happened in his dressing room above studio 1A, which was empty in the afternoons,” she said. “He got in his car and I had to go back to work, and now my life had completely changed.”
She even tells a creepy story about one time she and the anchor were alone in his office.
“I sat across from him, and he pushes a button from his desk and the door shuts. It was embarrassing, because his secretary was sitting outside. He wanted to do stuff,” she claimed. “I was like, ‘No. I’m so in over my head. I’m not a performance artist.’”
Traumatized, Addie eventually left the entertainment business and enlisted in the army. Coincidentally, she ended up doing a segment about her experience on Today years later — but Matt was a no-show at work that day.
And though the former PA admits the relationship was consensual, she still feels victimized and manipulated.
“He went after the most vulnerable and the least powerful — and those were the production assistants and the interns,” she alleged to Variety.
“I’m putting my name and face out there to squash any doubts about the allegations from other women against Matt Lauer. I’m validating their stories because some of our experiences are similar."
She concluded, "I want these women to know that I believe them, I want to help empower them and collectively we have a voice to change things. I have a 7-year-old daughter. I want to do everything I can to assure this doesn’t happen to her.”
Matt was let go in late November from the show amid the first round of sexual assault allegations and is trying to rebuild both his marriage and his career.
Good luck, buddy.
You can read Addie's entire account of her affair with the dad of three right HERE.
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