Just after it was confirmed that US morning news anchor Matt Lauer has been sacked over allegations of sexual misconduct, old footage of the NBC media personality has emerged, in which he asks a female colleague to "bend over" as "it's a nice view".
The video published on TMZ, shows Lauer making the comment to fellow presenter Meredith Vieira in 2006, during a commercial break.
"Pretty sweater. Keep bending over like that. It's a nice view," he said to Vieira, as she was leaned over to pick up her scripts.
TMZ had initially reported the woman in the video was former Yahoo! Global News Anchor Katie Couric, before clarifying it was Vieira, who took over from Couric's hosting duties in September 2006.
NBC said on Wednesday it fired prominent news anchor Lauer after 20 years with the network for what it described as inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.
"This is a sad morning here at 'Today' and at NBC News," his co-host Savannah Guthrie said on air.
"As I'm sure you can imagine, we are devastated, and we are still processing all of this and I will tell you right now we do not know more than what I just shared with you," she said.
"For the moment all we can say is we are heartbroken. I'm heartbroken for Matt, he is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many, many people here.
"And I'm heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell.
Lauer, 59, is one of the best known faces on America's popular early morning news shows and earned a whopping $25 million per year.
His former co-host said she and everyone at NBC are now "grappling with the dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks".
NBC chairman Andrew Lack said it this was the first complaint against Lauer but the network was provided with evidence suggesting it may have not been an isolated incident.
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