Matt Lauer is dating his longtime friend and powerhouse publicist, Shamin Abas, and now RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned the twice married New York socialite was involved in a messy 2007 divorce.
In exclusive documents obtained by Radar, Abas, 50, filed for divorce from her last husband, Frank Cilione, in 2007.
Abas, who appears to have an uncanny resemblance to Lauer's ex wife Annette Roque, explained how financial burdens put a strain on her marriage to Cilione.
Meanwhile, although the man's name is unknown at this time, Abas had been married well before her second marriage.
The duo met her first husband on a cruise ship, and later joined him in Detroit, where he worked as a cosmetic dentist.
She told The Palm Beach Post “suburban life didn’t suit me well at all."
The couple moved to New York in 1999 where she began to work as a spokesmodel with Chrysler, but Abas and her then-husband divorced soon after the move to the Big Apple.
Lauer, 62, went through his own relationship battles over the summer when his ex Roque filed for divorce.
Roque, 53, finalized her divorce from the former disgraced Today host on September 6 following her husband’s sex scandal. As Radar readers know, several women accused the former host of sexual misconduct, which led to his bombshell 2017 firing from NBC.
The two were married for over 20 years and share three children: Jack, 17, Romy, 14, and Thijs, 11.
According to an exclusive In Touch report, who was first to break the news, Lauer and Abas went on a romantic getaway to New Zealand for the holidays. They were spotted flying out of New Jersey on December 19.
The two seemed to be in good spirits and were all smiles as they made their way through the airport.
To see exclusive first photos of the new couple and to find out all of the details of Lauer's new girlfriend and her messy divorce, scroll through the Radar gallery!
Before embarking on a whirlwind romance, Abas and Lauer had been friends for almost 15 years. In 2005, a Post gossip column reported that Abas and Lauer had friendly “tete-a-tete” dinners at West Palm restaurant Tsunami.
Abas, who had been married to Frank Cilione at the time — an East Hampton nightclub entrepreneur — would file for divorce two years later in 2007. The two married on November 8, 2003.
In 2003, Abas and Cilione opened a restaurant together that would eventually go bankrupt. In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Abas hinted at what caused the demise of her marriage.
“My advice is never be married to someone in the restaurant business,” Abas revealed in the interview. “We were under so much pressure with this huge lease and financial responsibility. It played a huge part in the failure of our marriage.”
According to documents exclusively obtained by Radar, Abas filed for divorce on July 17, 2017, announcing their date of separation as July 1, 2006.
No Room For Repair
According to the Florida documents, Abas cited that "the marriage is irretrievably broken" as her reason for filing the divorce.
The marital assets were divided up evenly and she did not request any spousal support, according to documents exclusively obtained by Radar. She was dealt a blow when she gave up her ownership of the restaurant titled Tsunami that they had opened together in Palm Beach.
Show Me The Money!
Cilione was forced to pay off the amount owed to Abas on her Discover card and Citi Bank card, totally $51,000.
Done For Good
The divorce was finalized and disposed by the judge on November 13, 2007, according to court documents.
Two years later, in 2009, Cilione was arrested for having an outstanding warrant. Cilione was at the Sag Harbor police department on May 22, 2009 to apply for or renew a state liquor license, which requires a fingerprint. Because he wasn't carrying a driver's license, an officer ran his name through a law enforcement database, police claimed in court documents. The check showed an outstanding warrant from West Palm Beach, Fla. Cilione was arrested and turned over to the Suffolk County police's fugitive squad, according to Suffolk police. The case was eventually dismissed.