“As strange as it sounds in print” is an understatement, to be sure. That any executive has the ability to lock people in their offices without them knowing is uncommon. That Lauer allegedly abused this power to lock women in his office as if they were prey is beyond remarkable.

Also worth noting from Variety’s article: according to the entertainment-industry publication’s report, plenty of NBC News employees and authorities knew about Lauer’s alleged behavior, and did nothing to stop it. (We’ve reached out to NBC for a comment.)

One former NBC producer claiming to have knowledge of the alleged encounters told Variety that “[t]here were a lot of consensual relationships, but that’s still a problem because of the power he held. He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married. So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain.”

This description sounds a lot like a statement we’ve heard before: “When you’re a star they let you do it,” said Donald Trump, now president of the United States, bragging in 2005 about his ability to grab women “by the pussy” and kiss them without consent. “You can do anything.”

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