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Katie Couric Reveals What She Knew About Matt Laurer’s Behavior And What She Claims She Didn’t

katie couric today interview screenshot
(Image credit: NBC)

Many Today fans were stunned when co-anchor Matt Lauer was fired after several sexual harassment accusations were brought against him in late November 2017. In the time since that, people have wondered whether or not Katie Couric, who’d been his co-anchor for about eight years, had any information regarding what was allegedly going on behind the scenes with him. Now, Couric has opened up about what she did and didn't know about Lauer’s behavior.

Katie Couric had already been co-anchor of Today for around seven years when Matt Lauer took the anchor seat alongside her at the long-running NBC daytime show. When he was fired, it seemed evident that his co-workers at the time were largely surprised by the claims, but fans who’ve been wanting to know what Couric may have known now have their answer. While speaking with Today’s Savannah Guthrie in preparation for the release of her book, Going There, Couric was asked about Lauer and said:

The side of Matt I knew was the side of Matt you all knew. As I got more info and learned what was going on behind the scenes, it was really upsetting. I realized there was a side of Matt I never really knew.

In her upcoming book, Couric admitted that she contacted Lauer after word of his firing and the allegations came out, with her texting “I am crushed. I love you and care about you deeply,” and letting him know that she was available to talk if he felt he needed it. Now, in her book, Couric said that “it felt so heartless to abandon him, someone who'd been by my side, literally, for so many years.” But, she also admitted that she’d heard “whispers” about his behavior, though she didn’t specify if that was only while she was still at Today, or also sometime after she left, which was in 2006.

Couric also didn’t explicitly say what information those “whispers” held. The first allegation against Lauer came from former NBC News producer Brooke Nevils, who accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and later said that he raped her while they were working the event. Claims from other women included that he would make salacious comments, that he showed one woman his genitalia, and would use the security feature in his office (which allowed executives to lock their door without getting up) to hold women inside, among other allegations.

Lauer quickly apologized for his “words and actions” which hurt people, but denied that his sexual contact with Nevils was anything but “completely consensual.”

Talking about the professional atmosphere when she was working at Today, Couric added:

There's always gossip in TV news. I think it was a very permissive environment in the '90s, and I think permissive environments often result in serious transgressions, and I think back then, it was sort of like you felt like it was none of your business, and nobody ever came to me to talk about it.

All in all, Katie Couric says that she had difficulties figuring out why Matt Lauer “behaved the way he did," and seemed to have acted in such a "reckless and callous and honestly abusive" manner to several women he interacted with, and it appears that she was mostly in the dark on what was claimed to be going on during his Today tenure.

Adrienne Jones

Bachelor Nation, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.