News reports surfaced last week that Annette Roque has kicked husband Matt Lauer out of their home and that a divorce filing by Roque is imminent. If it happens, this will not be the first time she has filed for divorce. And it won’t be the first time that Lauer’s actions were the evidence that led to the divorce filings. Matt Lauer, it seems, is the poster child for the ‘your actions are evidence’ divorce rule.
In 2006, Roque filed for divorce for the first time. In the filing, she cited “mental abuse, extreme mental and emotional distress, humiliation, torment, and anxiety.” Sound familiar? Lauer’s actions during the divorce were literally becoming evidence in a divorce proceeding. She withdrew the filing two weeks later, but had the case proceeded; we likely could have expected additional corroborating evidence to surface. Roque could have submitted text messages, emails, witness statements and more to support her claims. And now, it is seems likely to happen again.
Following Lauer’s firing for sexual misconduct, his actions once again are front and center. Only this time, they are taking place on a national stage and contaminating his pending divorce. Lauer’s actions in his professional life have undoubtedly taken a toll on his marriage and will very likely be raised as evidence in the divorce. It would not be surprising if Roque once again claimed “mental abuse, extreme mental and emotional distress, humiliation, torment, and anxiety” based on these events alone. It would seem Lauer cannot escape the legal ramifications of his actions in his professional or personal life.
It is helpful to think of Lauer as a cautionary tale and a reminder to always be mindful of a divorce rule that is inescapable – “Your Actions are Evidence.” By being aware of this rule, it can drive us to be more thoughtful in our decision-making and remind us to be present in our relationships.