With sexual misconduct allegations levied against him, Matt Lauer is the latest man to be a bullet point on the biggest story of the year. A wave of women accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of inappropriate sexual behavior, and the list of men accused of similar behavior keeps growing.
Lauer’s reputation and career are in shambles since being fired over sexual misconduct allegations. Now it looks like he may lose a prime piece of real estate too. We’ll explain why and how, but first we’ll do a quick refresher.
1. What happened?
If you didn’t know already, the long and short of it is Matt Lauer is a creep. Variety has a detailed report, but multiple female colleagues say Lauer time and again behaved inappropriately or made lewd comments to them. It cost him his job as host of NBC’s Today show, and as we will see in a minute it might have cost him a huge amount of land in New Zealand.
Next: He’s hardly the first.
2. The latest on a growing list of men behaving badly
Before we talk about New Zealand, let’s remember that Lauer is hardly the first man to be accused of sexual misconduct. Numerous actors, politicians, entertainment executives, and others preceded Lauer in being accused of inappropriate behavior.
Next: Why his behavior may cost him the farm.
3. How does the bad behavior affect his New Zealand land?
In February of 2017, Lauer agreed to lease Hunter Valley Station, a 16,000-acre farm on New Zealand’s south island, and the particulars were settled in March of that same year. According to Architectural Digest, he paid $9.2 million through a holding company for the lakeside property.
The allegations against Lauer mean the land can be taken away from him. Foreigners purchasing land in New Zealand must be of “good character” in the eyes of the Overseas Investment Office. The concept is a bit nebulous, but it means landowners who run afoul of the law, whether convicted or not, can have their rights to the land stripped by the OIO. MSN reports the OIO is aware of the allegations and “is discussing this with his representative and is seeking further information”
Next: But wait, there’s more.
4. He owned more than the farm in New Zealand
If Lauer loses the New Zealand farm, he’ll still be able to retreat from the public eye in style. Another Architectural Digest article outlines his real estate holdings. He owns a New York City apartment in the Lenox Hill neighborhood as well as a sprawling mansion in the Hamptons purchased from Richard Gere. The Hamptons mansion he owns now came after he had already purchased two other properties in the Sag Harbor area of the Hamptons.
Next: How did he afford all that property?
5. Years on air leaves Lauer with a huge bank account
Being fired from Today after 20 years is a disgraceful way to exit the stage. If he never gets another job (and given his very public fall from grace, there’s a very real chance he won’t), he should have enough to live on. His final salary at NBC was a whopping $28 million per year, and he is worth $80 million. Time estimates he could have more than $100 million to his name.
Next: One last parting shot on the way out.
6. Taking to Twitter
Here is Matt Lauer’s full statement pic.twitter.com/ht1CLzMU6S
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 30, 2017
On his way out the door, Lauer made like Donald Trump and tweeted out an apology. His Twitter account is deleted, but CNN’s Brian Stelter grabbed a screenshot of the apology and tweeted it. As we are about to see, tweeting might have been Lauer’s second-most unwise decision.
Next: And how did the Twitter apology turn out?
7. Let the roasting begin
Matt Lauer is “ashamed and embarrassed”. Where was the shame and the embarrassment when he was assaulting the women? He is only embarrassed for being caught.
— LPRochon (@Lprochon) November 30, 2017
Lauer’s Twitter apology is not going over well. The Indianapolis Star collected some of the most biting responses to his apology tweet. And the roasts keep on coming via the hashtag #MattLauer on Twitter.
Next: Just the start of the storm for Lauer.
8. Things are getting worse
First, it was Lauer’s firing. Then it was his apology on Twitter. The story continues getting worse for him from there. TMZ uncovered video of Lauer making a lewd comment to former co-host Meredith Vieira. And Page Six writes that Lauer’s lawyers are lobbying for NBC to pay out the millions remaining on his contract.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!