Nearly two months after Matt Lauer was ousted from NBC over allegations of sexual misconduct, his former co-host Katie Couric finally has something to say.
Couric told People that she was completely shocked by the accusations against Lauer, which included that he allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted NBC employees during his “Today” tenure.
“I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left,” she told People in an interview published on Saturday.
The TV journalist anchored the morning show from 1991 to 2006, while Lauer served as co-anchor from1997 to 2017.
Matt Lauer says his farewell to Katie Couric, his exiting co-host of the NBC “Today” television program in the studio, Wednesday May 31, 2006.
“I think I speak for many of my former colleagues when I say this was not the Matt we knew. Matt was a kind and generous colleague who treated me with respect. In fact, a joke I once made on late-night television was just that, because it was completely contrary to our brother-sister relationship. It’s still very upsetting,” Couric said.
NBC issued a statement at the end of November announcing Lauer’s termination from the network, referring to a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior.” The statement continued by mentioning the network had reason to believe it “may not have been an isolated incident.”
After the news broke, several anonymous women, who were former of current NBC employees, revealed Lauer, 60, allegedly harassed or assaulted them sexually.
Stars accused of sexual harassment and assault
Couric, who has faced backlash for staying quiet on the issue since the news broke, said the accounts she read were “disturbing, distressing and disorienting.”
“The whole thing has been very painful for me,” the 61-year-old told the mag. “It’s completely unacceptable that any woman at the ‘Today’ show experienced this kind of treatment.”
Couric has only spoken out once before about her longtime pal Lauer after a Twitter user called her out for her silence.
Journalist Katie Couric finally has something to say about her former co-host Matt Lauer after he was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior.
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)
“It’s incredibly upsetting and I will say something when I’m ready to,” she wrote on the social media account in December. “Thanks for your interest.”
Lauer publicly apologized for his actions, but disputed some of the allegations
“Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed,” Lauer said in a statement.
He later added, “There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions.”
“To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.”
Source: Ny Daily News