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Matt Lauer’s Wife Annette Wanted to Leave Him Over a Decade Before Their 2019 Divorce

Esther NJeri
Oct 13, 2021
12:40 P.M.
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Matt Lauer is known for his work with NBC News and his hosting stints on "The Today Show," but his discretions over the years have clouded all the excellent work he'd done on TV.

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Matt Lauer was born of a Jewish father and a mother that did not subscribe to any religion. So in search of a place to call home spiritually, Lauer considered marriage and children the solution.

And yet, one would assume that he would treat it concerning the pedestal he placed marriage on. Lauer, however, has disgraced his marriage to Annette Roque over and over again through extramarital affairs.

Annette Lauer and Matt Lauer during "Lotsa de Casha" by Madonna Book Launch Party at Bergdorf-Goodman in New York - June 7, 2005 - Outside Arrivals at Bergdorf-Goodman in New York City, New York, United States. | Source: Getty Images

Annette Lauer and Matt Lauer during "Lotsa de Casha" by Madonna Book Launch Party at Bergdorf-Goodman in New York - June 7, 2005 - Outside Arrivals at Bergdorf-Goodman in New York City, New York, United States. | Source: Getty Images

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LAUER MARRIES HIS FIRST WIFE

Lauer married Nancy Alspaugh in 1982, and seven years and no children later, the marriage ended. He would then marry Anette Roque, a Dutch model, in 1998, after only five months of dating. The two met on a blind date in July of 1997.

Their marriage bore them three children, two sons, and a daughter, but it was not enough to calm Lauer's wandering eye even then.

In 2006 Roque grew overwhelmed by her husband's overbearing nature and filed for divorce, accusing him of controlling everything, even the smallest of decisions such as decorating, travel plans, and finances.

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Matt Lauer attends the Fourth annual Martha Stewart Center for Living. | Source: Getty Images

Matt Lauer attends the Fourth annual Martha Stewart Center for Living. | Source: Getty Images

She also accused him of showing extreme hostility and anger towards her. In addition to that, she had suffered inhumane acts under her husband. However, the two seemed soon reconciled, and Roque went ahead and withdrew the documents.

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THE NOT-SO-PERFECT MARRIAGE

Their marriage seemed to be going well until 2010, when rumors became rife that the couple had split amid accusations of infidelity, but the duo came out guns blazing and challenged the claims.

Matt Lauer and Annette Lauer attend the 39th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show Grand Prix on August 31, 2014 in Bridgehampton, New York. | Source: Getty Images

Matt Lauer and Annette Lauer attend the 39th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show Grand Prix on August 31, 2014 in Bridgehampton, New York. | Source: Getty Images

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Lauer said their marriage was not perfect, but it was no different from any other marriage that had run for as long as theirs had. He said:

“The accusations of infidelity are ridiculous and I’m not going to dignify them with an answer. It’s not true.”

Roque also acknowledged that they had a bumpy marriage, but they were working through it. She dismissed the split reports as false.

Matt Lauer reports for the NBC TODAY Show in the Rosa Khutor Mountain Village. | Source: Getty Images

Matt Lauer reports for the NBC TODAY Show in the Rosa Khutor Mountain Village. | Source: Getty Images

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LAUER GETS FIRED FROM "THE TODAY SHOW"

Fast forward to seven years later, and Lauer was back on the wrong side of the tabloids when he was accused of carrying on an affair with a former co-anchor Natalie Morales.

The rumors are alleged to have been the reason she had left the morning show. Morales, however, denied the accusations saying that every aspect of the story was untrue.

And yet, the accusations were only the tip of the iceberg. Lauer was yet to face much worse claims the following year when he was accused of sexual misconduct leading to him being fired from "The Today Show."

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Matt Lauer, Annette Roque Lauer during Bette Midler Receives the Medal of Distinction by Lenox Hill Hospital at 2002 Autumn Ball at Waldorf Astoria in New York, New York, United States. | Source: Getty Images

Matt Lauer, Annette Roque Lauer during Bette Midler Receives the Medal of Distinction by Lenox Hill Hospital at 2002 Autumn Ball at Waldorf Astoria in New York, New York, United States. | Source: Getty Images

In November of 2017, "The Today Show" hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie announced live that Lauer had been fired from the morning show following allegations of sexual misconduct.

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The termination came after Brooke Nevil accused Lauer of forcing himself on her in Russia when they covered the 2014 Winter Olympics. She had been working with co-anchor Meredith Vieira when they ran into Lauer at the hotel bar at the end of the day.

The 21-year-marriage riddled with infidelities was finally over.

Matt Lauer attends NBC's "Today" at Rockefeller Plaza. | Source: Getty Images

Matt Lauer attends NBC's "Today" at Rockefeller Plaza. | Source: Getty Images

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Lauer invited Nevil back to his hotel room and did unprintable inhumane acts to her while she was drunk. She says despite her attempts at declining several times, Lauer went ahead and forced himself on her.

Lauer, however, later denied the accusations saying that the encounter might have been extramarital, but it was consensual.

Following the accusations, three more women came forward to say that the popular TV personality had also sexually harassed them, in a report published by Variety. Three days after the allegations, Lauer apologized to his family publicly.

Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque arrive for Time Magazine Celebrates New "Time 100" list of Most Influential People In The World. | Source: Getty Images

Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque arrive for Time Magazine Celebrates New "Time 100" list of Most Influential People In The World. | Source: Getty Images

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He claimed to have been sorry for the pain he'd cause his loved ones, admitting that even though some of the stories being spread about him were false, there was enough truth in them to make him feel ashamed and embarrassed.

Lauer continued with the statement saying that he knew the damage he'd caused would take a long time to repair, but he was committed to doing it. He ended the statement by saying that he was humbled to be surrounded by people who loved and were patient with him.

Roque, who a source had disclosed was already living separately from Lauer, never addressed the rape accusations until after their divorce was finalized.

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Matt Lauer at Broadcasting and Cable Hall Of Fame Awards 25th Anniversary Gala. | Source: Getty Images

Matt Lauer at Broadcasting and Cable Hall Of Fame Awards 25th Anniversary Gala. | Source: Getty Images

Still, she did not directly speak on the matter and said, through her lawyers, that she was focusing on her children and had no further comments on the issue. An insider told US Weekly:

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“Annette wanted out of the marriage for a long time. She stayed for Matt’s career — and, more important, for their kids."

The source claimed that for a while, the couple lived separate lives and only chose to remain married for the sake of their children, who at the time, as a source revealed, were spending most of their time in the Netherlands, while the oldest one was in boarding school.

Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque at the sixth season premiere of the HBO series "The Sopranos." | Source: Getty Images

Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque at the sixth season premiere of the HBO series "The Sopranos." | Source: Getty Images

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In December of 2017, the couple's relationship deteriorated, and they were often spotted with their wedding rings missing from their fingers.

A few months later, Roque's father confirmed the rumors that the two were not living together, while another source claimed that the two were no longer looking to reconcile. He continued:

"Annette is done playing the role of Matt's loyal wife. Their marriage is completely over. At this point, all they have left to do is to settle their divorce and to separate their assets."

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The source also confirmed that Lauer had begun coming to terms with the fact that their marriage was over. And while Lauer had felt like he lost everything overnight, the divorce had slowly been building up, and eventually, it had been inevitable.

In August 2018, Lauer agreed to pay out 20 million dollars as a divorce settlement. The 21-year-marriage riddled with infidelities was finally over. Their divorce was a long time coming, and in July of 2019, it all ended.

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