Lawyer Ari Wilkenfeld (left) said during an interview on “Today” that his client “lives in constant fear” after accusing Matt Lauer (right) of “inappropriate sexual behaviour”.
The lawyer of the woman who made the accusation of “inappropriate sexual behavior” prompted NBC to quickly fire the “Today” star host Matt Lauer said Friday in his young client is “afraid” and to live “in constant fear” of being tracked down.
He criticized NBC executives are not doing enough to protect her confidentiality.
“My client is scared and she does live in constant fear that people are going to track her down and find out who she is, and she feels bad for the many other women who are suspected of being her, and also to be chased and tormented,” attorney Ari Wilkenfeld said during an interview on “Today” with NBC’s own reporter, Stephanie Gosk.
“There is a hunt underway to find out who she is and I think that has a chilling effect on other women, who might want to come forward and tell their story,” he said.
Lauer lucrative career at “Today” came to an ignominious end last month after the woman lodged a complaint with NBC’s human resources department. She accused Lauer of sexual misconduct, which began in the Olympic games in Sochi in 2014. According to The New York Times, the woman claimed that her relationship with Lauer, who is married, continued for a time after they returned to New York.
The woman made her complaint to NBC and asked for confidentiality, but Wilkenfeld accused the company of failing to comply with the agreement.
“NBC has a duty to maintain confidentiality — that is, to secrecy about her name and hold to themselves the details of their story, and they have not done a good job to do that,” Wilkenfeld told Gosk, who, according to Variety, is the examination of Lauer’s scandal for the network.
“They know exactly what they have done and they need to stop,” Wilkenfeld said, referring to NBC.
NBC denies the accusation, Gosk reported.
“The network is protected by employee anonymity along and will continue to do that,” NBC said in a statement read on the air.
Call to NBC Friday Fox News were not returned.
Wilkenfeld comments of the new press NBC News president Andy Lack and his people’s deputy, Noah Oppenheim, who fight against the widespread skepticism within the NBC.
Both claim that they had no idea about Lauer’s pervy behavior for Wilkenfeld the client her complaint in the last month.
Lack and Oppenheim are scrambling to get new sexual harassment policy in place at NBC News, even if they resist, bring in an outside investigator to look into who knew what about Lauer’s behavior and who may have been with regard to him or turning on him. Both directors have long had close ties with Lauer.
The Wilkenfeld interview came a day yet another accusation came against Lauer, NBC’s biggest stars. A former NBC News production assistant revealed to Variety that they had a month-long sexual relationship with Lauer in the summer of 2000, when Lauer was newly married with the Dutch model Annette Roque, who remains his wife.
Addie Collins Zinone told Variety that Lauer started having sex with her in his Rockefeller Center dressing room and later in a bathroom in Los Angeles during the Democratic National Convention. Zinone said her sex-rendez-vous with Lauer was consensual, but that she finally felt like a victim because of the powerful dynamism.”
She told Variety that she believed Lauer was protected at the time by the higher-ups and “there were people who enable him.” She said that he could not have gotten away with what he has done “, without others above him make of these situations is the way to go — manipulating, strategizing, what they did to the exercise of their power against the powerless.”
Lauer’s boss at the time was the Lack, in his first tour of duty as president of NBC News.
Lauer also has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman in his office sometime in the next year, 2001, when Lack was still in charge. Lauer’s prosecutor’s office, a “Today” producer at the time, told The New York Times that Lauer had called her to his office for sex and then assaulted her after locking the door with a secret button hidden under his desk.
She told the newspaper the anchor, her bent over a chair and forcefully had sex with her before she went.
She said that she woke up on the floor of Lauer’s office with her pants down and Lauer had an assistant take her to a nurse, according to the paper.
Lauer issued a statement after his firing in which he apologized, and said, in part, “There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I’ve caused others by our words and deeds.”
Lack was NBC News’ boss in June 2001, when he was appointed president and chief operating officer of NBC.
Lack ‘ s close ties with Lauer out of their many years together at NBC. He named Lauer co-host of the “Today” show in 1997, and is good friends with Lauer that the two have reportedly years together. But after Lauer’s firing last month, a Defect was insisted through a spokesman that he had no idea Lauer was inappropriate behavior.
So far, the Defect has resisted the pressure to change the name of an external team of lawyers to investigate what the NBC brass knew or should have know about Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct.
Lack is to keep track of the evaluation in the context of his control. He told NBC staffers last week that NBC News lawyers and human resources managers would deal with the matter.
Lack and Oppenheim are also facing questions about why NBC was on the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape of Donald Trump last year — and why NBC this fall spiked celebrity scion Ronan Farrow’s statement about Harvey Weinstein.
Both the explosive exclusives were eventually given to other publications at NBC declined to broadcast. Since the Lauer revelations became public, NBC executives have fended off the increase of the charge that they resisted the exposure of other celebrities of sex offences by what Vanity Fair called “a glass houses problem”.
Many ethics and journalism experts have told Fox News in the last two weeks that NBC needs to bring in an independent, outside investigator to answer all of these questions and for the application of assessment Lack and Oppenheim themselves.
“It is difficult to see how an internal audit, which reports to the senior executives would be considered as complete and transparent as the behavior, or a lack of the behaviour of senior executives, such as Andrew Lack, should necessarily be a problem,” Cornell University professor and Legal Insurrection founder William Jacobson told Fox News this week.
PBS has a more transparent approach when allegations of sexual misconduct against the television presenter Tavis Smiley popped up this week. Several reported that PBS hired an outside law firm to investigate. On Wednesday, PBS, suspended distribution of the Smiley’s late-night talk show. Smiley has denied accusations that he acted improperly.
Also, Fox News brought in outside council to investigate the sexual harassment allegations against a number of the managers, and hosts. The Metropolitan Opera has also brought in an external lawyer to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against the old star conductor James Levine, who denies all the allegations.
Lauer, the vendors do not return calls and e-mails of Fox News requesting comment on Zinone the claims.