Former “Today” host Matt Lauer has officially moved on to a new girlfriend after finalizing his divorce in the aftermath of a spate of #MeToo allegations that torpedoed his career.
According to In Touch magazine, Matt Lauer is now dating marketing executive Shamin Abas, a friend of his since 2005.
“The new couple enjoyed a romantic getaway to New Zealand over the holiday weekend, shortly after they were spotted catching a flight out of New Jersey on December 19, as seen in exclusive photos obtained by In Touch,” the outlet reported.
An insider source said the relationship happened gradually, but they are now a “full-fledged item.” Lauer was reportedly “on the prowl” for a new girlfriend in the wake of his divorce; Abas is one of the few friends who apparently stood by him following the slew of allegations.
“She knows who he is,” the source said. “She’s thrilled she’s with him. She doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. For everything he may have done, Matt’s very charming. I can see how Shamin fell for him.”
“He can trust Shamin,” they added.
Matt Lauer remained mostly silent after exiting NBC over a series of sexual assault allegations, choosing only to publicly defend himself after a former colleague, Brooke Nevils, openly accused him of rape this past October. In a strongly-worded letter, Lauer described the allegations against him as unequivocally false.
“Over the past two years people have asked why I have not spoken out to defend myself more vigorously against some of the false and salacious allegations leveled at me,” Lauer wrote. “It is a fair question and the answer is deeply personal. Despite my desire to set the record straight and confront the individuals making false allegations, I wanted nothing less than to create more headlines my kids would read and a new gathering of photographers at the end of our driveway. So I decided to just stay quiet and work on repairing my relationship with the people I love. It has been the most important full-time job I have ever had.”
“But my silence has been a mistake,” Lauer continued. “Today, nearly two years after I was fired by NBC, old stories are being recycled, titillating details are being added, and a dangerous and defamatory new allegation is being made. All are being spread as part of a promotional effort to sell a book. It’s outrageous. So, after not speaking out to protect my children, it is now with their full support I say ‘enough.’”
In response, Brooke Nevils accused Lauer of “victim blaming” by saying they had consensual sex the night that their encounter took place.
“There’s a Matt Lauer that millions of Americans watched on TV every morning for two decades. And there is the Matt Lauer who this morning attempted to bully a former colleague into silence,” Nevils said. “His open letter was a case study in victim blaming. I am not afraid of him now regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would and now has tried to use against me.”