Katie Couric Says Matt Lauer's Sexual Misconduct Scandal Has Been 'a Very Painful Time'
Katie Couric has opened up about how she and others who worked with Matt Lauer have been dealing with his exit from the Today show after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him
Katie Couric has opened up about how she and others who worked with Matt Lauer have been dealing with his exit from the Today show after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him.
The former news anchor, 61, spoke about Lauer, 60, with Wendy Williams on Tuesday while promoting her new National Geographic series, America Inside Out.
Williams told Couric she had been looking forward to a reunion between the former Today anchor and Lauer before his dismissal from the show.
“Well, you know, it’s been a very painful time for a lot of people who worked with Matt, knew him, and care about him, who never witnessed this behavior that is now obviously being talked about,” Couric said. “I don’t know the full extent of all these things that happened. I can only talk about my personal experience and I was always treated respectfully and appropriately.”
The Wendy Williams Show host asked if she believed Lauer could make a comeback to television.
“That’s really not for me to say, Wendy,” Couric said. “I think that depends on the path he chooses, and how he decides to handle what has happened and the full extent of what has happened is eventually revealed.”
In January, Couric told PEOPLE Lauer’s firing from the Today show was “very upsetting.”
“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,” she said.
“I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left,” Couric continued. “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. I really admire the way Savannah [Guthrie] and Hoda [Kotb] and the entire Today show staff have handled a very difficult situation.”
Lauer was fired at the end of November by NBC News after the network received a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior,” with reason to believe “this may not have been an isolated incident.” Women have also anonymously accused him of sexual harassment and assault in reports published by Variety and The New York Times.
Following his firing, which was announced live on Today by Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, Lauer addressed the original allegations in a statement.
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“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” he said, in part. “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.”