With the list of powerful men in Hollywood losing their positions following multiple accusations of sexual harassment and abuse growing like wildfire, one can't help but wonder about their wives in regard to who they are, how they are faring, and what they will do moving forward.
After NBC abruptly fired him amid sexual assault allegations in 2017, many wondered, who is Matt Lauer's wife, and what must it have been like for her to learn the news along with us that he had been released from his lucrative contract with the Today Show?
At the time, the identity of the NBC employee who'd come forward with her to story had been kept anonymous, and the details of her accusations were not made public.
Now, in Ronan Farrow's new book "Catch and Kill", which focuses on the New York Times reporter's investigation of Harvey Weinstein, it's been revealed that the woman in question is former NBC employee Brooke Nevils, who claims Lauer anally raped her in his hotel room while she was drunk when the two were assignment at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Upon learning the details of Nevils allegations had been released to the public in Variety, Lauer issued an open letter through his attorney, Libby Locke, in which he denied the accusations of rape and insisted the two had been involved in a consensual affair.
Nevils responded with her own first public statement to NBC News, saying, "There’s the 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 ... His open letter was a case study in victim blaming and concluded by threatening any other woman who might dare to speak out against him."
"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, " she continued. "The shame in this story belongs to him."
NBC News stood by their 2017 decision, asserting, "Matt Lauer's conduct was appalling, horrific and reprehensible, as we said at the time. That’s why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague."
It must have been an incredibly painful two years for Lauer's former wife Annette Roque, who has stayed relatively silent, but she, too, responded publicly for the first time since the scandal originally broke.
In a statement made on her behalf to People Magazine, Roque's attorney states, “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. Our client will make no further statements.”
Roque and Lauer finalized their divorce in September 2019 after 20 years of marriage.
Here are 9 things to know about Annette Rogue, the woman who was once Matt Lauer's wife.
1. She is of Dutch background.
Roque was born in December of 1966 in the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and Indonesian father, and her mixed ethnic background also includes Chinese and French ancestry.
She grew up in a town near Amsterdam called Alphen aan de Rijn, where she lived until setting off to pursue her dream of modeling in her 20's.
2. She was a professional model.
After moving to Paris in 1988, Roque became a successful model in cosmetics ads, and was known by the stage name "Jade."
By the time she met Lauer, she had moved once again to New York City and was modeling for the likes of Victoria's Secret and J. Crew.
3. Their brief courtship and marriage seemed like a fairy tale.
Lauer and Roque were set up on a blind date by stylist Maria Santoro in July of 1997, and the two became engaged just five months later.
Speaking of the obvious romance in the air between them at their October 3, 1998 wedding in Water Mill, New York, Lauer's Today Show co-host Al Roker said, "Watching them at the table. They would be talking to somebody, and when that person would leave, the two of them were looking into each other’s eyes. You could see they were truly, truly happy."
Photo: David Shankbone
4. She's a dedicated mother to their three children.
Roque and Lauer have three children together: son Jack Matthew (born in 2001), daughter Romy (2004), and son Thijs (2006).
Roque and the children live full-time in a home known as Strongheart Manor in North Haven, New York, which they purchased from Richard Gere for $36.5 million in June of 2016. Now valued at approximately $44 million, the estate is expected to be sold in the near future.
5. She first filed for divorce in 2006.
While pregnant with their third child in September of 2006, Roque filed for divorce, citing behavior by Lauer so egregious that it "endangers the physical and mental well-being of [Annette] so as to render it unsafe and improper" for the two to remain living in the same home.
The papers went on to say that Roque endured "continual mental abuse" from Lauer.
He countered in his own response by saying "any 'cruel and inhuman treatment' he may have exhibited was 'provoked' by his wife."
Important note: Abuse is never "provoked."
6. She has been labeled "over-protective" and "jealous."
In a classic example of why-victim-blaming-is-wrong-and-we-should-believe-women 101, Access Hollywood correspondent Stephanie Bauer gave a so shameful it's now been deleted from YouTube report on Roque's decision to accompany Lauer to the Olympics in 2012.
"Matt Lauer's wife, Annette, will be tagging along when he travels across the pond for the London Olympics, but not to be a sports spectator. Instead, she's going just to keep tabs on him. Matt's wife wants to keep an eye on her husband and his wandering eye. A source tells RadarOnline, quote, Annette has made no bones about the fact that she will be keeping close tabs on Matt. Annette reportedly told Matt that if Natalie Morales were to land that co-hosting gig for the Today Show she would divorce him, because she didn't want him cozying up any closer to Natalie. Although there is no reason to believe that these two have anything going on, Matt's wife is the same slightly unstable woman who filed for divorce when she was pregnant with their third child in 2006, but took it back."
This little take of Roque took place right around another classic moment of 2012, when Lauer decided it would be a great idea to do this "funny" segment lampooning sexual harassment in the workplace.
Throwback to 2012 when Matt Lauer was the “real victim” of sexual harassment on the Today show pic.twitter.com/mYdnhEV2wv
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) November 29, 2017
7. It's unlikely she wasn't already aware of Lauer's cheating.
Reports from RadarOnline have tied Lauer to possible extramarital affairs with celebrity chef Giada de Laurentiis, former Today Show colleague Natalie Morales, and Good Morning America host Lara Spencer.
Multiple other outlets have similarly reported that Lauer's proclivity for cheating on his wife was widely known.
As reported in People, “'He regularly cheated on his wife,' one source claims. 'Everyone knew. His wife lives in the Hamptons and he lives in the city, but we never heard he made unwanted moves.' A former Today staffer echoes the first source’s claims, telling People, 'Everyone on staff knew he cheated regularly on his wife.'”
8. While her first divorce petition was withdrawn, their marriage is now officially over.
The couple never intended to make the news of their first near-divorce public. Little is known as to why Roque withdrew her 2006 petition and whether or not the two may have come to some sort of agreement in order for her to so.
In September of 2017, a source told RadarOnline, "Annette turns a blind eye to it now. They play happy families at their Hamptons home on weekends, and then she lets him run off to New York to do 'Today' — and goodness knows what else."
9. Their divorce took two years.
The two separated for good shortly after Lauer's termination in 2017. This past July, Rogue submitted a new divorce petition in Suffolk County, New York, and on September 5, 2019, their divorce became final.
Sources say Roque will receive approximately $20 million in the settlement along with their Hamptons horse farm in Water Mill, and the two will share custody of their children.