Katie Couric, who was Matt Lauer's "Today" co-host for several years, broke her silence Saturday on sexual misconduct allegations against him. In an exclusive interview with People, Couric, 61, is opening up about the scandal, revealing that it's affected her in a big way.
The TV veteran told People that she had "no idea" about the misconduct Lauer is accused of and that the scandal has been "very painful" for her. "The accounts I have read and heard are upsetting, debilitating and disorienting plus it's really completely improper that any female in the Now show experienced this sort of treatment method". "I think there's been a lot of cognitive dissonance for me and a lot of people on the show, and clearly the behavior was unacceptable and shocking for so many of us, and yet we also all knew a side of Matt and many positive attributes".
She called Lauer a "kind and generous" colleague who "treated me with respect". The truth is that a joke I created on late night television was only this, as it was utterly 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 hard situation".
She also maintains that she was completely unaware of any incidents taking place during her time on the show, from 1991 to 2006. In a memo to staffers, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said executives "received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. Thanks for your interest", Couric wrote on Instagram.
He apologized afterwards in a groveling statement in which he said "some" of the allegations were "untrue". "You'll find not any phrases to convey my grief and regret the pain I've caused others by actions and words", he explained, in part. "To the people I have hurt, I'm truly sorry". It is now my full-time job The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul-searching and I'm committed to beginning that effort.