“I was shocked because he’s been such a stalwart at that network and in that job,” Alspaugh told ET after Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb broke the news of Lauer’s termination on Wednesday, November 29. “He’s been the best person that’s ever held that job and I couldn’t imagine that anything that he would have done — that would have been so out of character for him — that would have caused that reaction.”
Lauer, 59, and Alspaugh were married from 1981 to 1988, and had no kids together. Lauer is a father to three children with wife Annette Roque.
“I never saw him as a power monger or somebody who would abuse his position in any way,” the Not Your Mother’s Midlife: A Ten-Step Guide to Fearless Aging author said. “That’s why it’s so shocking, I think, for the people that really know him and really love him and they want to get the good stuff out. I want to get out the fact that he made a contribution to my nonprofit, that he helped me when my husband died.”
“He’s just a very giving person and charming and I think a lot of this stuff is obviously going to come to light, whether it’s true or not, and some of the things that are being stated may not be true,” she continued. “We have to find that out, you know? As time goes on here, people should be aware there’s a family involved here. There are three children and that’s — I think it’s important to be aware that this can destroy a family. Reporting on accusations before they know whether they’re real or not.”
Alspaugh also revealed she last spoke to Lauer a week before news of the allegations broke because she wanted to tell him a reporter had approached her about the story.
“I called him to let him know that a reporter had shown up at my door and was saying that some things were going to be coming out,” she told ET. “When I called him, he thanked me for the call, and I got the contact of the reporter and he said of course none of it was true.”
Alspaugh, who claims to be “very friendly” with Lauer, also reached out to her ex since the story broke.
“I just haven’t heard back, but of course I’ve given him my support,” she said. “One hundred percent.”
Lauer responded to the allegations in a statement on Thursday.
“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,” Lauer said in a statement to Us Weekly. “I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”