With the news that Today‘s Natalie Morales is moving to the West Coast to join Access Hollywood, whispers that Matt Lauer and Morales had an inappropriate relationship turned into rumors of an affair. Now, almost everyone on the Today team has come out of the woodwork to state adamantly that the relationship between Lauer and Morales is nothing but professional. Can you say: Doth protest too much?
“There’s speculation it’s one of the reasons why she’s moving… Matt didn’t want to work with her,” a source tells Page Six. “There’s an awkwardness between Matt and Natalie,” the source continued. “He protected her for a long time and now it seems like something has gone awry.”
Morales herself made a statement criticizing the mere idea that she would transfer jobs because of an affair: “There is absolutely no truth to this completely absurd story. It is damaging, hurtful and extremely sexist. I have proven myself in all aspects of my job as a news professional and journalist, and am adding to my role, taking on three jobs with Access Hollywood Live and Access Hollywood in addition to Today. This move was dictated by me and my desire to grow in my career. Any insinuations beyond that are uninformed.”
Lauer also made a statement, “Every aspect of this story is untrue, and it’s frankly sad that someone would tell lies to harm everyone involved.”
Whatever the reasoning may be, we can at least say this: Kudos to Morales on her new job.