Katie Couric just opened up about Matt Lauer’s sexual misconduct allegations and subsequent firing from NBC. Read why it’s been ‘very painful’ for her since his dismissal.
Katie Couric, 61, finally feels ready to speak publicly about her former colleague Matt Lauer‘s sexual assault and harassment allegations. “The whole thing has been very painful for me,” the journalist told People. “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.”
“I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left,” she 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.” Savannah and Hoda were the anchors who actually announced the news on Today, and Hoda has since taken over Matt’s position.
While Matt was fired by NBC in Nov. 2017, this is the first time Katie has spoken out at length since the scandal went public. “It’s incredibly upsetting and I will say something when I’m ready to. Thanks for your interest,” she responded to an Instagram comment on Dec. 8 after someone asked her why she’s remained silent. In the wake of the allegations that Matt sexually assaulted an NBC staffer at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and the additional accusations of sexual harassment that came thereafter, people turned to former interviews to unearth any indication to his alleged behavior. One such video was a 2012 interview where Katie admitted on Watch What Happens Live that her biggest pet peeve when it came to her former co-worker was that he would pinch her “on the ass a lot.” This is likely the “joke” she made on a late-night TV show that she refers to in her response to People. Of course, while her “joke” may have been taken out of context, it’s not surprising that people believed it hinted at an underlying issue with Matt — even if Katie wasn’t aware of it herself.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of Katie’s reaction to Matt’s sexual misconduct allegations?