The disgraced NBC anchor also ‘believes a television comeback is possible,’ a source told Us Weekly.
Former “Today” show co-host Matt Lauer is “furious” at the prospect of forking over $50 million to wife Annette Roque in their divorce settlement, Us Weekly reports — including the couple’s horse farm.
“Matt is furious he is essentially handing over half of his net worth to Annette,” an unnamed source told the magazine. While the ousted NBC anchor “could fight for a better deal in court,” the source added, “that would only result in dragging this out longer and negative headlines.”
Lauer, who is reportedly nearing a settlement, is set to give his wife of 19 years a one-time $25 million payment, the horse farm and their current residence, according to Us Weekly. There won’t be any spousal or child support for the parents of three, the source added. A rep for Lauer didn’t immediately return a Moneyish request for comment.
“He is ready to move on with his life and truly believes that a television comeback is possible,” the insider said. (Page Six also reported in April that Lauer was “said to be testing the waters for a public comeback by coming out of hiding from his Hamptons home. With his marriage to Annette Roque now over, he’s ready to restart his life.”)
Lauer, 60, was axed from “Today” in November amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations from former female colleagues, including one who said he had sexually assaulted her in his office in 2001. In January, Hoda Kotb officially took over Lauer’s spot on the morning show.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” Lauer said in a statement after his firing, adding that there was “enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.”
Lauer’s contract had him making $25 million a year prior to his dismissal, according to Page Six. But his potential $50 million settlement would be far from the priciest celebrity divorce payout; that honor goes to Mel Gibson, who paid approximately $500 million to his ex-wife, Robyn Moore, in 2009. Michael Jordan gave then-wife Juanita Vanoy $150 million in 2006; Neil Diamond also paid out $150 million to his wife of a quarter century, Marcia Murphey, in 1994. And Tiger Woods reportedly shelled out a cool $100 million to ex-wife Elin Nordegren in 2010.
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