17:01, May 01 79 0 usmagazine.com

2018-05-01 17:01:03

 

Katie Couric: Matt Lauer's Scandal Has Been a 'Very Painful Time'

Katie Couric spoke out about the sexual misconduct scandal surrounding Matt Lauer — whom she cohosted the Today show with for nine years — during an appearance on The Wendy Williams Show on Tuesday, May 1.

Williams, 53, began the conversation by bringing up Lauer’s firing and saying, “[Matt’s] still your dear friend, I’d imagine,” to which the 61-year-old journalist replied: “It’s been a very painful time for a lot of people who worked with Matt, knew him, really care about him and who never witnessed — or experienced — any of this behavior that’s obviously being talked about.”

She continued: “I don’t know the full extent of all these things happened. But I can only talk about my personal experience and I was always treated respectfully and appropriately.”

Williams then asked if she thinks Lauer has a chance to get back on TV. “That’s not really for me to say, Wendy … I don’t know,” Couric replied.

As previously reported, Lauer was fired from his position by NBC in late November 2017 after he was accused of sexual misconduct by a colleague. The following month, Addie Zinone, a former Today show production assistant came forward with the claims that she had an affair with Lauer during her time on the show while he was still married. Zinone also noted that Lauer used a hidden button under his desk to close his office door on her when “he wanted to do stuff.”

Couric added that she thinks some of these things tend to get “misreported” and “blown out of proportion.” She noted that she “didn’t know what was happening but a lot of NBC executives had those buttons that opened and closed doors.”

In an article published earlier this month in the The Washington Post, Ann Curry revealed that she had reported Lauer to NBC management in 2012 after another female employee had told her she was “sexually harassed physically” by Lauer.

That same day, Lauer released a statement in an effort to protect his family. “I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months,” he told The Washington Post. “I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy they have lost.”

He added: “But defending my family now requires me to speak up. I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC. However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false.”

Us Weekly exclusively revealed earlier this month that the veteran journalist has moved out of his home in the Hamptons, who he shared with his estranged wife, Annette Roque, and their three children.

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