More details about Matt Lauer's relationship with his 19-year-old wife, Annette Roque, are coming to light.
Since NBC News fired the old Today presenter last week after receiving a "detail complaint from a colleague about sexual misconduct," with reasons to believe "this could not have been an incident isolated, "several informants told PEOPLE that Lauer allegedly cheated Roque, whom he married in 1998 after a blind date. (Lauer, 59, was formerly married to television producer Nancy Alspaugh from 1981-88)
"According to Matt's own admission there were struggles and challenges with his wife," a longtime friend tells him. PEOPLE in this week's issue. "Like many couples, they fought a modern marriage."
A former Lauer colleague says the marriage "was never good", adding that Lauer's reputation as Womanizer annoyed his wife, a former Dutch model, even before getting married.
"He was a player when he met him and she knew it," says the colleague. "Even many years ago, he was a coquette, a womanizer, he did his thing."
- For more on Matt Lauer, take up the PEOPLE issue this week, in newspaper posts on Friday
Roque filed a brief lawsuit of divorce in 2006, alleging in court documents obtained by National Enquirer that Lauer committed "cruel and inhumane" acts against her, demonstrating "extreme anger and hostility" that endangered her physical and mental well-being, and criticized repeatedly his skills as a mother.
Despite the accusations, Roque withdrew the court documents three weeks after filing them. But as they reconciled, "they lived totally separate lives," says the former colleague, with Roque raising the couple's three children in the Hamptons and Lauer spending weekends in their Manhattan apartment.
Of the son of Lauer Jack, 16 years old, daughter Romy, 14, and son Thijs, 11, the former colleague says that Lauer "loves his children" and "is a solid father", although, according to a producer of the network, "was essentially a single man".
On Wednesday, people confirmed that Lauer and Roque are no longer wearing their wedding rings, but according to one source, the couple is still under one roof and together.
"They are taking it day by day right now," the source said. "His focus is on his family"
Lauer, who joined NBC in 1992 as a newsreader at Today had been co-host of the morning show since January 1997 and reportedly , signed a $ 20 million dollar contract last year.
On November 29, NBC announced the termination of Lauer, and a source told PEOPLE that Lauer was fired for sexual misconduct throughout 2014 with an employee, including the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Another source with knowledge of the situation said that Lauer had seen this relationship as "consensual" and "stupefied" by the accusation.
The women also anonymously accused him of harassment and sexual assault in reports published by Variety and The New York Times .
RELATED: Everything we know about the accusations against Matt Lauer
Lauer broke his silence on the accusations in a statement read on November 30 by his former co-hosts in the air.
"There are no words to express my regret and regret for the pain I caused to others with words and actions," he said. "To the people that I have hurt, I am very sorry." As I write this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and on NBC. "
" Something that is said about me is false or badly characterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel ashamed and ashamed, I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I appreciate very much, "he continued. "Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and a deep search, and I'm committed to starting that effort, now it's my full-time job, the last two days have forced me to take a hard look at my own worrying defects. I am blessed to be surrounded by people I love, I thank you for your patience and grace. "
One of the ex of Lauer Today show colleagues told PEOPLE that the overthrown presenter is still reeling from the situation.
"He is weak and is ashamed of his own admission," said the colleague.
But, the colleague added: "He is my friend, he is human, and he has flaws, but will he use his power to be a predator of women? Until I see solid evidence of that, I simply can not We do not know the details. "