A former "Today" show staff member is dishing details of an alleged affair she had with Matt Lauer 16 years ago.In an article published yesterday by Variety magazine, Addie Collins Zinone says her relationship with Lauer began in 2000.
She says Lauer was in his 40s and newly married to his wife Annette Roque, when he sent the employee messages saying that she “looked fantastic” and made it hard for him to concentrate. She said that when they later arranged to meet for lunch, “My intentions were purely professional. I thought this was a way to get real-world constructive advice. What that turned into was an opportunity for him to come onto me. It was flattering, confusing, overwhelming. I was nervous. I didn’t know what to do with it. He was clearly trying to guide the conversation. He was there to hit on me and manipulate the situation, and I fell for it...”
She said that back at the office, Matt allegedly told her to meet him in the studio dressing room, where their sexual encounters began.
She said, “it was a whirlwind. Over the next few weeks, we met several other times.”
Zinone claims her last “encounter” with Lauer was inside a bathroom at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in California. She says that after a National Enquirer staffer met her outside her home and asked about Lauer, she reached out to him, he asked her “Who did you tell?” and then “ghosted” her.
Zinone is now married with two children and says, “Even though my situation with Matt was consensual, I ultimately felt like a victim because of the power dynamic… He went after the most vulnerable and the least powerful — and those were the production assistants and the interns.”