Katie Couric claims she had ‘no idea’ about Matt Lauer, says disgraced anchor’s pervy behavior ‘unacceptable’
Posted by Kathleen Joyce on 13th January 2018
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This post was originally published on FOX ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

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Katie Couric has opened up for the first time following Matt Lauer’s abrupt firing from NBC and claimed she had “no idea” about the disgraced “Today” show co-host’s inappropriate behavior when she worked with him.

Couric, 61, told People that learning about Lauer’s lewd behavior was “painful” for her.   

NBC "Today" show host Katie Couric (L) stands with her co-host Matt Lauer in the outside portion of the "Today" set in New York's Rockefeller Plaza, May 31, 2006. Couric, who was appearing on her last "Today" show after 15 years on the program, is leaving to anchor the "CBS Evening News" where she will start in September. REUTERS/Mike Segar - GM1DSSPBRQAA

Katie Couric and Matt Lauer hosted the “Today” show together from 1991 to 2006 before she left to anchor “CBS Evening News.”  (Reuters)

“The whole thing has been very painful for me,” Couric told People. “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.”

Couric and Lauer hosted the “Today” show together from 1991 to 2006 before she left to anchor “CBS Evening News.”

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“I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left,” she said. “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.”

The joke Couric was referring to came when she appeared on Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” in 2012 and was asked what Lauer’s most annoying habit was.

Katie Couric (L) of the NBC Today show chats with her co-host Matt Lauer outside NBC's New York City studios during the broadcast of the April 5, 2006 program. Couric, earlier in the show, told her audience that she will be leaving NBC to join the CBS Evening News where she will become the first woman to solo anchor a network evening newscast. The 49-year-old Couric has been on Today for the past 15 years. REUTERS/Mike Segar - GM1DSHYTTRAB

Katie Couric told Andy Cohen in 2012 that Matt Lauer “pinches me on the ass a lot.”  (Reuters)

“He pinches me on the ass a lot,” Couric responded. The video resurfaced and circulated on the internet following the news of Lauer’s firing.

Guthrie and Kotb announced during the “Today” show on Nov. 29 that Lauer was fired after the network received “a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace” by the former host.

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Following Lauer’s termination, a number of reports and accounts from former employees were revealed. Variety published an expose on Lauer following his firing. The expose claimed Lauer had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from inside without getting up. One woman claimed Lauer sexually assaulted her in his office until she passed out.

Couric briefly spoke out after Lauer’s firing on Instagram in December when she told a social media user that she would “say something when I’m ready to.”

Matt Lauer (L), dressed as Batman and Katie Couric, dressed as Marilyn Monroe, co-hosts of NBC's the 'Today' show, pose during the program's annual Halloween show in New York October 31, 2005. REUTERS/Albert Ferreira - RP2DSFIFVHAA

Katie Couric briefly spoke about Matt Lauer’s firing in December but said she would say more when she was ready.  (Reuters)

Lauer has laid low following his termination. Former colleague Willie Geist told “Entertainment Tonight” this week that Lauer was “as good as he can be.”

NBC’s parent company Comcast is conducting an investigation to determine who knew about Lauer’s sexual misconduct and when they learned of it. Fox News has learned that the investigation is now being conducted outside of NBC News chairman Andy Lack’s division. 

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.