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Katie Couric breaks silence on Matt Lauer's Today show firing

13 January 2018

Nearly two months later, Couric is breaking her silence, finally opening up about the "distressing and disorienting" claims against her longtime co-host and friend.

"The whole thing has been very painful for me", the "Today" co-host told PEOPLE. "The accounts I have read and heard are upsetting, debilitating and disorienting plus it's really completely improper that any female in the Now show experienced this sort of treatment method".

Couric's opinion on the controversy was sought last month immediately after the bombshell sexual harassment and assault allegations against Lauer were made public, but at the time, Couric said that while the news was "incredibly upsetting", she wasn't ready to talk about it. I feel I speak for many of my coworkers once I say it was not exactly the Matt we knew.

She called Lauer a "kind and generous" colleague who "treated me with respect".

Katie Couric is speaking out about Matt Lauer's firing. I really admire the way Savannah [Guthrie] and Hoda [Kotb] and the entire Today show staff have handled a very hard situation, ' she added. She left in May 2006 to anchor the CBS Evening News.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Couric had been criticized for not speaking out in the more than a month since Lauer was sacked for what NBC said was an investigation into a complaint showing "inappropriate sexual behavior" by Lauer's colleague.

Lauer was sacked by NBC in November after the network received a "detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior", saying it had reason to believe it wasn't an isolated incident. The statement continued by mentioning the network had reason to believe it "may not have been an isolated incident".

Lauer released a statement the same day, apologizing to the people he hurt.

He later added, "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions". "As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC".

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Katie Couric breaks silence on Matt Lauer's Today show firing