Cut off. Katie Couric revealed where she stands with former Today cohost Matt Lauer after he was fired in 2017 amid sexual harassment allegations.
“We have no relationship,” the 64-year-old journalist said on the NBC morning show on Tuesday, October 19, while discussing her upcoming memoir, Going There, adding that the scandal was “really, really hard and it took me a long time to process what was going on.”
Her book, which hits shelves later this month, features text messages she exchanged with Lauer, 63, amid the fallout of his firing. “I think I used those because I thought they were very illustrative of how our relationship devolved and ultimately deteriorated,” Couric explained. “I thought that was a powerful way to … really let the reader into my thought process and as I got more and more information, how it was harder and harder for me to reconcile these two sides [of him].”
When claims about Lauer’s workplace behavior emerged, the Best Advice I Ever Got author said she struggled to recognize her longtime coanchor.
“The side of Matt I knew was the side of Matt I think you all knew. He was kind, generous, considerate, a good colleague,” the former 60 Minutes correspondent told Today. “As I got more information and learned more about what was going on behind the scenes. And then I did some of my own reporting, talked to people, tried to excavate what had been going on. It was really devastating and also disgusting.”
Couric continued, “I think what I realized is that there was a side of Matt I never really knew. I tried to understand why he behaved the way he did, and why he was so reckless, and callous, and honestly abusive to other women.”
Lauer was axed from the network in November 2017 after a female colleague accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior while covering the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, three years prior. The scandal continued to make headlines in 2019 when Ronan Farrow published Catch and Kill and spoke with Lauer’s accuser, Brooke Nevils. (The New York native, for his part, has denied Nevils’ accusations and previously slammed Farrow’s reporting in a lengthy op-ed.)
In May 2018, Couric noted that the aftermath of the controversy was “very painful” for her and for others who had worked with Lauer in the past. “I don’t know the full extent of all these things happened,” she told Wendy Williams at the time. “But I can only talk about my personal experience and I was always treated respectfully and appropriately.”
The following year, the Virginia native called for “more women in leadership positions in journalism and broadcast news” to help make the industry a safer and more welcoming place.
“Things don’t really change unless you have a woman with real authority and decision-making opportunities,” she told Variety in November 2019. “I really do believe that the atmosphere of a company and the standards, they all come from the top.”
Lauer, for his part, has been laying low since leaving NBC, but a source exclusively told Us Weekly in June 2020 that he was thinking about “doing a big TV interview” to share his side of the story.
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