Katie Couric is opening up about what she called a “painful” realization that there was a much darker side to Today show co-host Matt Lauer than what she had come to know.
Speaking out for the first time since new sexual assault allegations were leveled against Lauer in October, Couric said that it has been difficult for her over the last two years to see a number of different women come forward to make claims of sexual misconduct against Lauer, from carrying on inappropriate workplace relationships to accusations of forcible rape.
The latest allegation came from Brooke Nevils, who said that Lauer raped her while they were having a consensual extramarital affair. She claimed that Lauer forced himself on her while they were in Sochi covering the 2014 Winter Olympics
As she addressed attendees at the Dress for Success annual Women Who Inspire breakfast in New York City this weekend, Couric said that she didn’t know that side of Lauer.
“It’s been painful for me on many levels, especially when it comes to understanding what was going on with Matt, who I think ultimately turned out to be two very different people, in terms of my relationship with him versus some of the other things that were going on,” Couric said at the event, via Variety.
Couric first spoke out against the allegations against Lauer in 2018, after Lauer’s shocking firing from the Today show in November 2017. Her sentiment was much the same at the time as her recent appearance, with Couric offering support for women who faced his inappropriate behavior but telling People magazine that Lauer had treated her with kindness and respect through their work together.
Couric is not the only former colleague to speak out against Matt Lauer. Megyn Kelly, who joined the Today show just a few weeks before Lauer was fired, has called out both Lauer and NBC for allegedly covering up the allegations against the anchor.
Kelly said that NBC should have followed the lead of other networks facing serious allegations and conduct an independent investigation, but instead, NBC chose not to act.
“Comcast, which owns NBC Universal, is a $200 billion company,” Kelly told Us Weekly.
“There is zero reason why with those resources, and if NBC truly has nothing to hide, it should not hire an outside investigator to look into the allegations that NBC executives have facilitated and covered up a culture of sexual harassment and abuse.”
Matt Lauer has denied the claims that he raped Nevils, saying that their encounter was consensual.