An unnamed source told Page Six that Lauer, who was fired by NBC in 2017 following allegations of sexual misconduct, was determined to have the royal in-law — famed for stealing the spotlight as maid of honor at her sister’s 2011 wedding to Prince William — tried unsuccessfully to recruit her as a correspondent for the morning show. Now 36, Middleton is a new mom who currently writes a fitness and wellness column for U.K. grocery store Waitrose’s in-house magazine.
Lauer is said to have set up a private meeting at his favorite restaurant — Donohue’s Steak House in Manhattan — with Middleton, her then-publicist Simon Kelner and several Today employees, including former executive producer Don Nash, with a view to bringing her on board. He also allegedly set up a test shoot at a Montana dude ranch for Middleton, which the Page Six called “excruciating.”
The source claimed that Middleton “wasn’t really interested” in the role — and neither were NBC employees who were allegedly uneasy about the newsman’s behavior.
“Pippa wasn’t comfortable with any of it,” the source told the New York Post column. “Buckingham Palace was putting her under tremendous pressure not to go forward or cause any embarrassment to her sister. Matt and Pippa were never alone, and she wasn’t really interested in the job, but nevertheless NBC staffers were nervous about Matt’s interest in Pippa.”
Deborah Turness, then president of NBC News, is said to have rejected the Middleton hire. But Lauer — who is vehemently denying fresh allegations of sexual misconduct in the wake of Tuesday’s publication of Ronan Farrow’s book, Catch and Kill, including former NBC News staffer Brooke Nevils’s claim that he raped her — did get the opportunity to interview Middleton in 2014.
At one point in the interview, Lauer asked Middleton about her then-infant nephew, Prince George.
“When you walk in the room, does he drool?” the anchor cracked.
Representatives for Lauer, Middleton and Kelner have not yet responded to Yahoo’s requests for comment.
Page Six has also claimed that Lauer had an affair with a “famed and well-respected broadcaster” with a colleague who reportedly signed a nondisclosure agreement upon leaving NBC in 2012. Page Six declined to name the woman in question.
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