Katie Couric Explains Why She Didn't Respond To Matt Lauer's 'Pinching' Immediately

14 January, 2018, 12:59 | Author: Brenda Erickson
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"Matt was a kind and generous colleague who treated me with respect".

Lauer, who reportedly earned upwards of $20 million per year for his work on "Today", was terminated after a female whistleblower told NBC executives of alleged sexual misconduct on his part.

Almost two months after Matt Lauer was ousted from NBC over allegations of sexual misconduct, his former co-host Katie Couric finally has something to say.

"In this hyper-reactionary instantaneous culture where you have to have something to say right, away, I appreciated the opportunity to sit with this and to wrap my head around it before I spoke about it", Couric told reporters at the Television Critics Association Press Tour today (January 13), following a panel for her upcoming National Geographic show, America Inside Out With Katie Couric.

In an interview with "People" magazine, Couric calls the accounts of Lauer's misconduct "disturbing", but says she learned about them only through the media.

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Following Lauer's firing, multiple women anonymously accused Lauer of sexual harassment and sexual abuse in stories published by The New York Times and Variety.

She also said the news came as a shock, despite reports which recalled the journalist making a remark about Lauer "pinching her on the a** a lot".

He apologized afterwards in a groveling statement in which he said "some" of the allegations were "untrue". "To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry", he wrote. "As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC". I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. I guess I made [the joke] because it was, again, so contrary to the relationship I had with Matt which was respectful, and professional. In it, Couric says Lauer "pinches me on the ass a lot", a clip that went viral after Lauer's issues surfaced. "I really admire the way Savannah [Guthrie] and Hoda [Kotb] and the entire "Today" show staff have handled a very hard situation".

Still, the entire situation is "very upsetting" to Couric, and although she's still unsure how to fully process Lauer's actions, she's optimistic about the future of Today. "Yes, there were men, but I think they were all afraid of me!"

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