The lawyer of the anonymous woman whose single accusation of “inappropriate sexual behavior” lead to veteran The Today Show anchor Matt Lauer‘s swift firing at the end of November by NBC News plead with those searching for his client’s identity to stop because she is “terrified.”
In an interview with Today‘s Stephanie Gosk that aired Friday, Ari Wilkenfeld explained that the Lauer whistleblower is living in a state of “constant fear that people are going to track her down and figure out who she is.”
“There’s a hunt underway to figure out who she is and I think that’s going to have a chilling effect on other women who are going to come forward and tell their stories,” Wilkenfeld said, adding that his client “feels badly for the many other women who are suspected of being her, who are also being hounded and harassed.”
“It was difficult for her [emotionally] like it is for all victims of sexual harassment,” he continued. “It’s scary. And that’s why many women want to have those meetings and they want to close the door and never be heard from again.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 15, 2017
Wilkenfeld went on to recap how his client came forward with her complaint, and what she asked of her employers at NBC.
“She showed his face, she gave her name, she told her story. And at the conclusion of the interview, she was asked, ‘What do you want?’ And she said, ‘I want you guys to do the right thing and also, I’d like you to maintain my confidentiality,’ ” he said.
But according to Wilkenfeld, NBC has not lived up to their promises. Though he didn’t offer specifics, he slammed the network for their behavior in the wake of the allegations.
“I can say that NBC has a duty to maintain confidentiality, that means to maintain secrecy over her name and to hold to themselves the details of her story. And they have not done a good job of doing that. They know exactly what they’ve done and they need to stop,” Wilkenfeld said