Who Is Matt Lauer’s First Wife?

Former Today Show anchor Matt Lauer is still trying to keep a low profile after the most recent allegations of sexual misconduct were made public in September. With a highly publicized divorce from wife Annette Roque after 20 years of marriage in September, the disgraced television host is attempting to piece his life back together with his three children.

Few may know that Lauer was previously married in the 80s to someone also in the television industry.

Matt Lauer | Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Author and producer

According to Entertainment Tonight, Lauer was married to Nancy Alspaugh from 1981 to 1988. Alspaugh has authored two books – Fearless Women: Midlife Portraits released in 2005 and “Not Your Mother’s Midlife: A Ten-Step Guide to Fearless Aging, which was published in 2013. She also worked on several talk shows including Leeza Gibbons’ show Leeza. Her LinkedIn profile states that she is the “executive who pioneered the magazine program format with Westinghouse’s PM Magazine” and served as the Vice President of Group W Productions.

After her marriage to Lauer ended, Alspaugh met and married Fox executive, H.Read Jackson, according to Biographics World. The couple adopted a son, Wyatt, who was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old. Tragically, Jackson died from cancer in 2016.

Alspaugh is the executive director of ACT Today, a non-profit organization that advocates for autistic individuals.

Defending her ex

After the news broke of Lauer’s firing and the accusations placed against him, Alspaugh was quick to defend her ex. “I was shocked because he’s been such a stalwart at that network and in that job,” Alspaugh told Entertainment Tonight in November 2017. “He’s been the best person that’s ever held that job and I couldn’t imagine that anything that he would have done — that would have been so out of character for him —  that would have caused that reaction.”

She went on to sing Lauer’s praises, listing ways he has been gracious to her despite their divorce. “I want to get out the fact that he made a contribution to my nonprofit, that he helped me when my husband died,” Alspaugh said. “The selfless, giving part of him, which people tend to forget whenever this kind of a situation comes up. He would give you the shirt off his back if you really needed it. He did that for everybody. From the lowest person on set to, you know, the highest powers.”

Last year, Lauer’s first ex-wife was still going to bat for him, commenting that he could eventually return to his former career. “He has cut himself off, but he wants to be part of the change in this world and he needs to be given a chance. It could be behind or in front of the camera,” she revealed to Entertainment Tonight in 2018. “He will never stop recording life and sharing that with the world. He is a tremendous storyteller, a documentarian. He is equally good in front and behind the cameras, so I am sure this will work out for him.”

Difference of divorces

Alspaugh has shared that her divorce experience with Lauer was nothing like what Lauer’s second wife Roque went through. “Their very public divorce has been a different experience than what Matt and I faced,” she said in 2018. “In terms of ending our marriage, we took the easy route. We both just felt it was time to move on because of our careers. I think we could have made it work. I had too much pride. We have discussed this and agree, if we worked harder and we had put our marriage before our careers, we might have saved our marriage and had a future together.”

Upon reflection, Alspaugh shared that she and Lauer still have affection for each other despite parting ways. “Our relationship is done, we had our time, and I know he loves me in a special way and I love him in a special way,” she said. “While we didn’t last, Matt’s mother and sister are family to me. Our children are about the same age, and a couple of years ago, around the time I lost my husband, we all got together and our kids got to know each other. There have never been any ill feelings.”

No comments from Alspaugh on the latest accusations against Lauer made by former NBC employee Brooke Nevils have been recorded.