The iconic broadcast journalist revealed that she no longer has a relationship with her former ‘Today’ colleague Matt Lauer after he was fired for sexual misconduct allegations.
Katie Couric was a guest on The View on Monday October 25, where she discussed many aspects of her new memoir Going There, ahead of its release on Tuesday. The 64-year-old journalist was asked by guest co-host Gretchen Carlson, 55, about the chapter where she discusses her former Today co-host Matt Lauer, 63, and sexual misconduct allegations levied against him. Katie said that she would’ve investigated had one of the accusers come forward to her. “I think I would’ve obviously have gotten to the bottom of it,” she said on the talk show.
Katie admitted that she felt like the environment of the show may have partially led to why the allegations against Matt didn’t come out sooner. “There was a very permissive environment in — I think – a lot of these workplaces that people forget about in the 90s,” she said and noted that a gender studies professor at Stanford University had told her that, “Often permissive environments open the door to more serious transgressions.”
While Katie said that she’d heard “whispers” about her colleague, there were many rumors at the time. “There were a lot of whispers about a lot of people, you know, right? Somebody’s with somebody, this relationship, and you know? It was kind of part of the ether. It wasn’t in my world, because I had two little girls, and then, ultimately a sick husband, and I kind of wanted to keep away from all the rumor mills and the gossip,” she said.
The journalist said that, prior to the allegations, Matt had an overall positive reputation, which made it “really stunning and so disappointing,” when the accusations came out about him. Katie also mentioned that she’d reconnected with one of his accusers, and explained how everyone as a society have learned much more about consensual relationships and power dynamics in wake of the #MeToo Movement. She also reiterated that she thinks that she would’ve come forward had she known about the accusations against her colleague. “I have many, many times helped women who have been in uncomfortable situations and advised them or gone to bat for them, so I believe that I would’ve done the same thing,” she said. “I just hope it’s a very different environment in many of these workplaces than it was in the 90s and early 2000s.”
Matt had faced allegations of sexual misconduct from his some of his former colleagues. In 2017, he was fired from Today. Former NBC employee Brooke Nevils accused Matt of anally raping her in a hotel room at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in an interview for Ronan Farrow’s book Catch and Kill. He denied allegations of sexual assault in a statement to Variety in 2019. “I have never assaulted anyone or forced anyone to have sex,” he said in a statement at the time.
Elsewhere in the interview, Katie also spoke about some sexism she faced when she got her start as a broadcast journalist. She also spoke about some of the media attention that Going There has gotten ahead of its release and encouraged people to read it.