In a statement during her show Access Hollywood Live, Morales says she was just as stunned by the allegations as we were. “I woke up to the news like everyone this morning—just in shock,” she said. “The Today show, of course, has been my family for 16 years now and it is difficult. I think everyone is saying how difficult it is to process the news.”
Morales also addressed the past rumors that she and Lauer had had an affair. “I have personally dealt with rumors in the past for years that were hurtful to me, my family—they diminished my hard work. I’ve addressed those rumors head-on in the past,” she said, referring to her past comments that said stories were “completely absurd” as well as “damaging, hurtful, and extremely sexist.”
VIDEO: Louis C.K. Admits Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Him "Are True"
“That is not the story today. The story today is the courage of a colleague who did come forward, and when and if she wants to tell her story publicly, I’m sure she will. But it did take a lot of courage for her to come forward. It was no doubt a very painful decision,” Morales added in her live statement.
Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb broke the news of Lauer’s firing Monday morning on the Today show by reading a statement from NBC News chairman Andrew Lack. It revealed that the company had received a complaint from a colleague who accused Lauer of sexual harassment.