Matt Lauer's Divorce: A Timeline of His Split From Annette Roque
By Antoinette Bueno
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Matt Lauer's divorce from estranged wife Annette Roque has been a long time coming.
ET previously confirmed that 52-year-old Roque officially filed for divorce from 61-year-old Lauer in Suffolk County Court in New York on July 2. However, even before Lauer was shockingly fired from the Today show for inappropriate workplace behavior in November 2017, the two faced rumors about their relationship being strained. Let's take a look back at their long process toward divorce.
September 2006: Roque files for divorce from Lauer but later reconciles
Roque, a model and equestrian, married Lauer in October 1998. But after almost eight years of marriage, she filed for divorce from him in September 2006, before eventually withdrawing the documents, according to The New York Daily News. According to paperwork first obtained by the National Enquirer, in the filing, Roque accused Lauer of "cruel and inhumane acts," reportedly also claiming that Lauer was controlling about "even the smallest decisions," and alleging that he showed "extreme anger and hostility" toward her.
The two eventually reconciled.
July 2016: Lauer denies he had an affair with Natalie Morales
Lauer's sexual misconduct scandal wasn't actually the first time he had been accused of being unfaithful to Roque. In 2016, he and his former Today co-anchor, Natalie Morales, denied rumors that they had an affair, which allegedly led her to leave the morning show.
"Every aspect of this story is untrue, and it's frankly sad that someone would tell lies to harm everyone involved," Lauer told The New York Post.
"There is absolutely no truth to this completely absurd story," Morales added. "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."
November 2017: Lauer is fired from the Today show after allegations of sexual misconduct
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions," he said. "To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job."
" ... It’s been humbling," the statement continued. "I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace."
Meanwhile, Roque has never publicly acknowledged Lauer's firing or given an interview about him.
December 2017: A source tells ET that Lauer and Roque "lived separately" even before his sexual misconduct scandal
"Matt and Annette lived separately, with Matt spending many nights in his Manhattan apartment," the source said.
In March 2018, a source told ET that Roque and her and Lauer's two younger children --- 12-year-old Thijs and 15-year-old Romy -- had been spending more time in her home country, the Netherlands, while their oldest son, 18-year-old Jack -- remained in boarding school.
"They were known for leading very separate lives," the source said of Lauer and Roque. "They decided to stay together for the children and to keep up appearances which was very important for Matt. At first, Annette was disgraced by the accusations, just walking around in public became difficult. As time passed, the humiliation turned to anger."
"The last two years of their marriage were hell," the source continued to claim. "Annette had to hear about Matt's wandering eye incessantly. People noticed his focus seemed to be all about his career and life in New York, certainly not about making his marriage work."
December 2017: Roque and Lauer stop wearing their wedding rings
On Dec. 21, 2017, Roque was snapped entering a New York City law firm without her wedding ring, after Lauer was spotted in Sag Harbor, New York, with his wedding ring also absent. Roque's father, Henri, told the Daily Mail that same week that the two were not staying together after Lauer's firing.
"She is not going to stay with him and work it out," Henri said. "They are not together trying to work it out."
March 2018: A source tells ET that Lauer and Roque's marriage is "completely over"
"Annette is done playing the role of Matt's loyal wife," the source said. "Their marriage is completely over. At this point, all they have left to do is to settle their divorce and to separate their assets."
"Matt is finally coming to terms with the reality that his marriage is over and he is in bad shape," the source said. "He feels he lost everything important in his life overnight. He is embarrassed and ashamed."
"They are settling all the details," the source also said of their divorce. "Annette's friends don't feel [the split] was overnight. It has been building for years. The truth has finally surfaced. They barely ever speak to each other anymore and only recently tried to constructively discuss the divorce settlement."
The source noted there was still plenty of bad feelings on Roque's part toward her estranged husband.
"Annette is angry," the source said. "She feels Matt's behavior has affected a lot of people and has embarrassed the whole family. Annette plans to receive a very good settlement in this divorce. She wants to make sure she and the children will always be well taken care of."
August 2018: Lauer agrees to pay Roque $20 million in the divorce settlement
A source told ET last August that Lauer and Roque had come to an agreement on the amount of money he was going to give her following their split.
"Matt and Annette have had an incredibly difficult year," the source said. "They both wanted to settle their divorce amicably for their children's sake but it hasn't been easy."
"They've relied on their attorney's throughout the process and now after a very long year, Matt has agreed to pay Annette about $20 million in the divorce," the source continued. "He finally decided it was time to finalize everything and move forward and focus on the kids. He has a lot of guilt about how things went down and he wants to make sure Annette is taken care of."
The source said that the two were also now on decidedly better terms following the agreement.
"While they had issues and argued over properties and a final settlement, they have decided they can both put the children first and have come up with a plan," the source said. "For both Matt and Annette, there is a noticeable difference in their attitude toward this entire process. They seem happier and their family and friends are thrilled to see they are both moving forward."
August 2018: Lauer and Roque spotted together in the Hamptons
Further proving the two were now at least friendly with one another, Lauer and Roque made a public appearance together at the Hampton Classic last August. In pictures published by The Daily Mail, a low-key Lauer sported sunglasses and a New York Yankees baseball cap, while Roque walked next to him, holding a dog on a leash. Roque appeared to be in very good spirits, smiling big.
June 2019: Lauer sells his Hamptons house amid finalizing divorce
"The choice to sell the house in the Hamptons is because of the divorce," the source said. "Matt plans to stay in the Hamptons because he is very happy there. He has the privacy he needs and is at peace there. He’s taking care of himself, he's playing a lot of golf and going to the gym. He has found support from old friends who have reached out."
October 9, 2019: Roque responds to Lauer being accused of rape
Former NBC producer Brooke Nevils claims in Ronan Farrow's upcoming book, Catch and Kill, that she was anally raped by Lauer when they were both working for NBC at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Lauer has denied all allegations against him.
After excerpts from Farrow's book were published by Variety on Oct. 8, Lauer released a letter rebutting the claim that he sexually assaulted Nevils, an allegation that led in part to his firing from the Today show in 2017.
"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," he wrote in part. "...In a new book, it is alleged that an extramarital, but consensual, sexual encounter I have previously admitted having, was in fact an assault. It is categorically false, ignores the facts, and defies common sense."
"Each act was mutual and completely consensual," Lauer further insisted in the letter. "...I have never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex. Period."
On Oct. 9, in a statement toPeople, Roque's lawyer said that the mother of three was currently focused on their children.
"In response to your inquiry, our client has asked us to tell you that now that the parties are officially divorced, her priority and only concern is for their wonderful children," Roque's lawyer, John M. Teitler, said. "Our client will make no further statements."
In June, Lauer was excluded from the Today show's video celebrating its 25th anniversary. Watch the video below for more: