Ann Curry Finally Opened Up About Her Controversial Today Show Firing

Back in 2012, NBC's Today incited one of its biggest controversies yet when the hit morning show decided to fire and replace co-anchor Ann Curry after she'd only held the position for a little over a year. There was always speculation that her relationship with Matt Lauer was frayed, leading to her departure, but somehow Curry had never really gone public with how she felt about the ordeal. Until now, that is. Over five years after that tumultuous period, here's what Curry has to say about it.

It hurt like hell. It hurt so much, but I learned a lot about myself. I can say I've done nothing wrong. I've been honest and true. I've tried to stay pure. I've tried to not respond in a knee-jerk manner, and I've stayed very close to who I am. So it hurt, but I'm also proud of myself. . . . Experience has taught me, as a journalist, the No. 1 thing you have to be is humble. It's not about you.

Understandably, Ann Curry didn't draw out any barbed blades when explaining her mindset at the time of her uncomfortable final days as part of the Today staff. (She'd been with the show since 1997, and remained a part of the NBC News team until 2015.) As a journalist, she knows to keep her words tied to the subject matter, and she's spent the past five years largely avoiding it altogether, possibly thinking that nothing good would come to her professional career by talking it out. But now that the TV news industry has seen some of its former icons take falls over sexual misconduct allegations -- with the firing of Today's Matt Lauer being one of the most noteworthy instances -- Curry apparently feels this was the ideal time to come clean.

For what it's worth, Ann Curry doesn't seem to have any clear and present resentment about the issue. Here's how she put it to People.

I'm not going to say it wasn't hard. But I had to let go. And I learned that when you not only let go but open your arms wide and learn the lessons that an experience --- no matter how bad --- can teach you, that's when you rise. I can say today I'm stronger now. I'm smarter. I'm happier, as happy as I've ever been. And my compassion has only grown. When you go through the pain and learn the lessons, you will be changed for the better.

Taking her Today ousting as a learning experience is a smart way to look at it, and Ann Curry may very well be able to avoid any similar professional problems as a result.

While she didn't talk about Matt Lauer up there, though, she did pop up on CBS This Morning with a few thoughts about Today's recent problems. Here's what she specifically had to say about Lauer's accusations and removal.

You know, I -- I'm trying to do no harm in these conversations. I can tell you that I -- I am not surprised by the allegations.

Speaking carefully, Ann Curry said she would actually be more surprised to learn that woman at NBC didn't realize or understand that there was a "climate of verbal harassment" all around them. She claimed that it was pervasive during at least some of her time at NBC, but as far as her possibly fraught relationship with Matt Lauer being the reason why she got fired, Curry said that answer would be above her pay grade.

Today airs weekdays starting at 8:00 p.m. and going throughout the morning. Meanwhile, Ann Curry will be back on our TVs for the new PBS docu-series We'll Meet Again on Tuesday, January 23, at 8:00 p.m. ET. To see what other new and returning series are on the way, head to our midseason TV premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.