Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt has revealed she once proposed to Matt Lauer – by holding up a sign reading ‘Will you marry me?’ outside the NBC studios.
The devout Christian, who has become a TV personality in her own right since her crush on Lauer, said that her dreams of fame and fortune began when she was very young.
The 41-year-old told Elle magazine that even as a five-year-old growing up in a vAinery religious, ‘practical’ South Carolina household, she’d envisioned herself on the TV.
She recalled bursting into tears one year, while watching the Oscars, because she wanted to be there so badly.
‘I wanted to be famous when I was little, but not because I needed that,’ she said.
Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt has revealed she once proposed to Matt Lauer – by holding up a sign reading ‘Will you marry me?’ outside the NBC studios (pictured)
Earhardt has gone onto become a TV personality in her own right, joining Fox in 2007 and becoming a co-host of Fox & Friends in 2016
‘It’s hard to explain. And I was so sad, because I wasn’t sure my parents supported a theater career.’
Wanting to please her parents, Earhardt enrolled at Florida State University to study orthodontics. But ‘in my heart, I was drawn to PR,’ she wrote.
The debutante and Alpha Delta Pi sorority sister said that changed to broadcast journalism after a trip to New York with a church group.
Earhardt said she’s woken up at 3am to wait outside the Today show to hold up a bright pink sign that said ‘Will you marry me Matt Lauer?’
The then-college student even appeared on the Today show when Al Roker spotted the pink poster board proposal. She told Extra that Roker had ‘made this big joke about will you marry this girl, and he said ‘yes.’
‘And he said, ‘I want to register at Tiffany’s.’
Earhardt joined Fox & Friends as co-host in 2016, pictured with fellow cohosts Steve Doocy (left) Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade (right) in New York in January
Seasoned pro: Earhardt began working for the network in 2007 and has been a frequent contributor and substitute host on Fox & Friends (above with Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy and Kris Jenner in October 2014)
This was many years before Lauer was fired from the show after he was accused of sexually assaulting and harassing several female colleagues.
Almost a decade after her proposal to Lauer, Earhardt found herself sitting in Roger Ailes’s office, overlooking Rockefeller Center, interviewing for a job at Fox News.
‘All I could think was how did I get here?’ she wrote.
Earhardt joined the network in 2007, soon landing her own slot, ‘Ainsley Across America,’ on Sean Hannity’s show, before she became the host of a new morning wake show called Fox & Friends First in 2012. She joined Fox & Friends as co-host in 2016.
It was that year that women began coming forward to accuse Ailes and others at the network of sexual harassment.
But in her decade at the network, Earhardt said she’d never seen any such behavior.
‘I’ve never been in a situation like that, thankfully,’ she wrote.
A fellow anchorwoman at the station, Deborah Knapp, described Earhardt as ‘very loyal’ and ‘naive’.
‘I can see how she wouldn’t be aware of that,’ she added.
Earhardt held up a sign that read ‘Will you marry me Matt Lauer?’ Spotting her in the crowd, Lauer joked that he would and that he wanted ‘to register at Tiffany’s’. This was years before he was fired amid sexual assault and harassment allegations
She also recalled her interview with then-Fox boss Roger Ailes in 2007 Ailes was fired in 2016 after women accused him of sexual harassment but Earhardt, 41, says she never saw any of that behavior at the network
Earhardt, a 41-year-old mom-of-one, who is married to former Clemson University quarterback Will Proctor, said despite the recent scandals to hit the network and the critics who have dismissed her a blonde, make up loving ‘Barbie’, she ‘love(s) my life’.
‘I have my dream job. I have this wonderful schedule where I work full-time and also get to be a full-time mom.’
She admits she knew little about politics until joining Fox, but her conservative, traditional Christian views match those of its viewers.
Earhardt said that wanted to better reflect both sides of the aisle, and had even invited Hillary Clinton on the show during the 2016 election – although Clinton had always declined.
She said that wished there wasn’t so much division in the country.
But in the next breath, she complained about the backlash Fox often receives from Democrats and liberals over its partisanship and failure to hold the president to account – often ignoring negative stories about Donald Trump or quickly changing the topic to something more on topic for Fox fans, such as immigration.
‘I feel like the left wants to destroy Fox News,’ she said, adding that the feeling wasn’t mutual.
When asked if Fox wanted to destroy the left, she said: ‘I don’t feel I do.’
‘I think that makes America wonderful, that we have different opinions.’
She also doesn’t believe that biased or partisan shows like Fox contribute to the country’s polarization.
Earhardt is married to former Clemson University quarterback Will Proctor (pictured with her)
She is a mom-of-one to two-year-old daughter, Hayden (pictured with her)
‘I don’t feel like that,’ she said. ‘You can choose what channel you want to watch.’
Aside from her work, and her family, Earhardt said her Christianity is the biggest focus of her life.
She begins each chapter of her new memoir, The Light Within Me: An Inspirational Memoir, produced with a ghostwriter, with a passage from Scripture.
In it she describes growing up in a large religious community, going to Lutheran services with her family, and receiving regular letters from ‘Jesus’, which she suspects were sent from her father, reminding her to acknowledge her faith.
She even had a religious experience while studying at USC after transferring to study journalism.
While on a trip to the mountains with friends. While the group was having fun, smoking marijuana and playing music, she said she walked to the back steps and started speaking to God.
‘I want this void in my life filled forever,’ she said. ‘I want it filled with you.’
After that she stopped drinking and began writing ‘love letters’ to God in her journals.
Now living in New York’s Upper East Side with her second husband and daughter, she says she is hoping to have a break from work to spend some time with her family.
But says, ‘if God tells me to write another book, then I will.’