NEW YORK - Matt Lauer says he is "truly sorry" to anyone he is hurt by his words and actions in his first public comments since being fired by NBC amid sexual misconduct allegations.
Lauer's former "Today" show co-host Savannah Guthrie read a statement from Lauer at the top of Thursday's show, a day he was fired by NBC for "inappropriate sexual behavior." Published reports accuse Lauer of crude and habitual misconduct with other women around the office.
Lauer says in the statement: "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 or ashamed.
He says "repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching" and says he's "committed to beginning that effort."
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.
Meanwhile, one of the journalists who had been investigating Lauer before NBC announced his firing says accounts from more women are being vetted.
Ramin Setoodeh of Variety spoke on ABC's "Good Morning America" along with his colleague, Elizabeth Wagmeister.
Hours after Lauer's firing Wednesday, the trade publication posted what it said was a two-month investigation that included dozens of interviews with current and former staffers who asked to remain anonymous.
Setoodeh said Thursday the journalists have been "in contact with more women" and are "in the process of vetting their stories."
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