Katie Couric opened up for the first time on her former Today co-host Matt Lauer’s sexual misconduct in a new interview. “The whole thing has been very painful for me,” Couric said.
Speaking to People, Couric said of Lauer’s behavior, “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.”
However, Couric added that she never witnessed any of Lauer’s misdeeds during her decade-long tenure alongside the Today co-anchor.
“I think I speak for many of my former colleagues when I say this was not the Matt we knew,” Couric said. “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.”
Other than a comment on Instagram where Couric wrote that the Lauer allegations were “incredibly upsetting,” the People interview marked Couric’s first comments on the subject since Lauer was fired suddenly in November following a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior.” Further sexual misconduct allegations, levied on Lauer by former NBC employees, appeared in the New York Times.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I’ve caused others by words and actions,” Lauer said in an apology the following day. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I’m writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.”
Couric also praised how her the Today show rebounded from the Lauer firing. “I really admire the way Savannah [Guthrie] and Hoda [Kotb] and the entire Today show staff have handled a very difficult situation,” she told People.