Katie Couric, former NBC “Today” show anchor, spent 15-years working with disgraced former co-host Matt Lauer. Still, in a new interview with “People” magazine, Couric says she had no idea about Lauer’s predatory behavior.
Lauer was fired by NBC in November, the network dumping their top Today show star amid allegations of sexual misconduct. At the time, they said they’d received a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior,” and admitted that upon investigation, they could not say the account was an isolated incident. Later, there were additional allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
According to Couric, the accounts of Lauer’s behavior are “disturbing.”
“The whole thing has been very painful for me,” Couric reportedly said in the interview. “The accounts I’ve read and heard have been disturbing, distressing and disorienting and it’s completely unacceptable that any woman at the Today show experienced this kind of treatment.”
Couric said she first learned about the allegations against Lauer through media reports, and that she did not witness them over the course of her working relationship with Lauer.
“I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left,” she added. “I think I speak for many of my former colleagues when I say this was not the Matt we knew.”
Couric said the Matt Lauer she knew was different. She said, “Matt was a kind and generous colleague who treated me with respect.”
Couric also explained a comment she made on late-night television in 2012, when she quipped that Lauer pinched her “on the a– a lot.” She said she felt comfortable making the joke because it was completely contrary their “brother-sister relationship,”
When news of Lauer’s sexual misconduct became public, he apologized, saying he was “truly sorry” for the “damage and disappointment” he caused, and that there were “no words to express” his regret for the pain he’d caused “by words and actions.”
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