It's been a couple of months since Matt Lauer was fired from NBC's Today following a complaint about inappropriate workplace behavior of a sexual nature. In the time since, NBC announced it may not have been an "isolated incident" and other staff members on Today addressed the firing on the long-running show. However, most have not spoken out about their personal feelings on the matter, until this week when Matt Lauer's longtime co-worker Katie Couric decided to set the record straight on how she feels and what she says she knew about Lauer's behavior.
First and foremost, Katie Couric seems pretty blindsided about what happened, noting the reveals about Matt Lauer and the allegations of sexual misconduct that were levied at him were news to her. She seems heartbroken about the reports, noting,
The whole thing has been very painful for me. 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.
In the statement, which she gave to People, Katie Couric stressed that Matt Lauer had always been a good person to work with in her experience, and that she was left in the dark about his behavior in regards to other individuals at the workplace. She also says she's still reeling from learning the news and spoke a little bit about how the other Today co-workers were handling what happened. She said:
I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left. 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.
Katie Couric left Today for other opportunities back in 2006, but she has returned to the NBC series on occasion for guest stints, most recently to celebrate Matt Lauer's 20th anniversary as an anchor.
Couric had previously said that she would talk about what happened with her co-worker when she was ready and able. That comment was made on social media back in December, just a short time after Matt Lauer's firing was announced. She also briefly spoke on the issue during the TCA winter press tour earlier this month, saying she "appreciated the opportunity to sit with this" before she ultimately made a public statement regarding what had happened.