It has been a year since NBC suddenly fired Today Show anchor Matt Lauer due to allegations of sexual misconduct, and he has laid relatively low ever since. But, if he had any dreams of making a comeback, they must be on the back burner because a new report claims Lauer is moving to New Zealand to become a full-time rancher.
According to Radar Online, Lauer paid $9.2 million for a 26,500-acre ranch called Hunter Valley Station that borders the Hawea Conservation Park. Now he has found himself in the middle of a battle with local officials because they want him to provide access through his land to the national park.
Inside Matt Lauer's New Normal One Year After Today Show Firing https://t.co/YeDCPO37XG
— E! News (@enews) November 29, 2018
The fired Today anchor has said that he thinks the New Zealand officials see him as an easy mark, and they are taking advantage of him because of the difficult times he has been through during the past year.
Insiders say that Lauer has gotten used to playing the role of victim.
“He believes the only thing he’s guilty of was engaging in a consensual affair in the office,” reveals an inside source. “He sees New Zealand as a place where he can be viewed with a clean slate.”
Apparently, Lauer has given up on his dream of returning to television and will instead leave New York and hide out on his farm in Middle Earth.
Lauer is also reportedly buying out his ex-wife Annette’s interest in the New Zealand farm, but that won’t happen until their divorce is final because of the troubles that the government has given him over ownership of the land.
There is a stipulation in Lauer’s lease that requires him to “continue to be of good character.” And, when NBC fired him over the sexual misconduct allegations, he was in danger of losing the property. After a six-month investigation, New Zealand’s overseas investment office ruled that he could continue to lease the land.
— Anthony Mack Jr. (@agmack828) November 29, 2018
Outdoor enthusiasts want Lauer to provide greater access to the conservation park, but Lauer’s attorneys have argued that if he does that, Lauer would be entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation.
Lauer also claims that he has complied with the public access requirements and has allowed over 100 people to come through since he took over the land in 2017.
However, New Zealand’s Walking Access Commission has filed an application with the Commissioner of Crown Lands asking for a 25-mile easement through Matt Lauer’s property, with no compensation for the former anchor.