In her first interview on the topic since her former Today show co-host Matt Lauer was fired for inappropriate sexual behavior, Katie Couric opened up about reconciling the fun and respectful co-worker she knew with the harasser he was later exposed as. Now an anchor at Yahoo! News, Couric told People that when she was at NBC with Lauer, "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."
Couric seems to have been completely blindsided by the revelations about Lauer. "In fact, a joke I once made on late-night television was just that, because it was completely contrary to our brother-sister relationship," she continued, alluding to her appearance on Watch What Happens Live a few years ago when she joked that Lauer liked to pinch her on the butt.
Having worked closely with Lauer for over a decade, Couric was understandably pained to learn that he wasn't always the good guy he presented himself as. “The whole thing has been very painful for me,” she said. “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." She added that "It’s still very upsetting," and that she "really admire[s] the way Savannah [Guthrie] and Hoda [Kotb] and the entire Today show staff have handled a very difficult situation.”