Katie Couric is breaking her silence on former Today show co-host Matt Lauer more than a month after his firing.
Couric, 61, who co-hosted the show with Lauer for 15 years until she left in 2006, said the “whole thing” has been “very painful” for her during an interview with People Saturday.
“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 told the magazine.
She added that she had “no idea this was going on” during or after her tenure.
“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,” she continued. “In fact, a joke I once made on late-night television was just that, because it was completely contrary to our brother-sister relationship. It’s still very upsetting.”
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions,” he said. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC.”
Matt Lauer host of the Today Show speaks with Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump during an appearance on a NBC Town Hall during a broadcast of the Today Show in Rockefeller Plaza in New York, New April 21, 2016. PETER FOLEY, EPA-EFE
Matt Lauer has been fired from NBC for “inappropriate workplace behavior,” the network announced on the ‘Today’ show Wednesday. Take a look back at Lauer’s TV career, from the ‘Today’ show and beyond. Nathan Congleton, NBC
Lauer got into a heated debate with Tom Cruise, the world’s most famous Scientologist, during a June 2005 interview when he broached the topic of the church’s stance on psychiatry and antidepressants. VIRGINIA SHERWOOD, Virginia Sherwood, NBC via AP
Lauer was next to Couric on April 5, 2006, as she announced she would leave ‘Today’ for ‘CBS Evening News,’ where she became the first female solo network news anchor in history. LISA BERG, AFP/Getty Images
Lauer frequently tag-teamed with ‘Today’ weatherman Al Roker for the show’s annual Halloween episode. In 2006, they adopted a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean theme,’ with Lauer dressed as Capt. Jack Sparrow and Roker as Davy Jones. They’re joined her by Ann Curry, Meredith Vieira and Natalie Morales. RICHARD DREW, AP
In May 2007, Lauer scored an interview with Princes Harry, left, and William. Here, they walk the grounds of Clarence House, where the princes lived with their father Prince Charles in their teens and early 20s. Jeff Overs, AP
Having interviewed Prince William, Lauer was in a good position to play him during the show’s 2011 royal wedding-themed Halloween episode. Ann Curry played Duchess Kate while Al Roker donned a ginger wig to play Prince Harry. Peter Kramer, AP
Lauer suited up as Humpty Dumpty for a fairy-tale themed team Halloween costume in 2008. (From left: Ann Curry, Al Roker, Meredith Vieira, Matt Lauer, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Amy Robach) RICHARD DREW, AP
Because NBC is the longtime home of the Olympics, Lauer got to participate in the torch relay ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. Here, he runs with the torch in in Burnaby, British Columbia, in February 2010. DARRYL DYCK, AP
Lauer talks with Kanye West on the ‘Today’ show in 2010. The interview came five years after the rapper’s infamous “George W. Bush doesn’t care about black people” remarks during a telethon to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Peter Kramer, NBC Universal, Inc.
The ‘Today’ crew bade farewell to another host, this time Meredith Vieira, on June 8, 2011. Afterward, Ann Curry finally graduated to the anchor chair, which she held for less than a year. Richard Drew, AP
Lauer looks on as Ann Curry, who graduated to co-host following Meredith Vieira’s departure in 2011, tearfully announces her own exit on June 28, 2012. Curry was largely blamed when ‘Today’ fell behind ABC’s Good Morning America’ in the ratings. NBC
Lauer, left, wasn’t afraid to go in drag on Halloween. Here, he channels Pamela Anderson alongside actual ‘Baywatch’ actress Carmen Electra and Willie Geist as David Hasselhoff in 2013. Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images
Two weeks before his firing, Lauer interviewed former Vice President Joe Biden, who was promoting his book, ‘Promise Me, Dad.’ While in office, he was the Obama administration’s point person on preventing sexual assault. NBC, Nathan Congleton/NBC
Lauer spoke often of his alma mater, Ohio University, visiting the campus on-air and delivering the commencement address after he finally finished his undergraduate degree in 1997. Lauer recently welcomed the school band, the Marching 110, to the ‘Today’ plaza on Nov. 22, the day before the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “We’ve been hearing about this all week,” co-host Savannah Guthrie told the band. Nathan Congleton, NBC
Lauer, captured behind the scenes on Nov. 21, 2017, was terminated on a week later after a single, detailed credible report of sexual misconduct, his first in 20 years as host of ‘Today.’ NBC News chairman Andy Lack said there was reason to believe it was not an isolated incident. NBC, Nathan Congleton/NBC