In her newest memoir, former NBC anchor Katie Couric revealed that she expressed sympathy for her former colleague Matt Lauer when he was being accused of sexual misconduct in 2017,
In a manuscript for her latest book “Going There,” the former “Today Show” anchor revealed she reached out to Lauer following his sexual scandal in 2017 and sent supportive texts.
“I am crushed,” she texted him. “I love you and care about you deeply. I am here. Please let me know if you want to talk. There will be better days ahead.”
She wrote that Lauer responded back with a blowing kiss emoji.
In 2017, Lauer was fired from his position on “The Today Show” after an anonymous alleged victim reported sexual harassment behavior from him. Hours after the announcement, Variety reported the result of a two-month investigation which revealed several accusations of sexual misconduct by Lauer.
Despite this, Couric claimed that she felt a great deal of empathy for Lauer and worried he was “sleepless, haggard, depressed, maybe worse” after losing his job.
While she referred to his behavior as “gross,” Couric also wrote that it felt “heartless to abandon him, someone who’d been by my side, literally, for so many years.” She further described that she came to recognize him as “excellent professional partner, a good friend, and a predator.”
Further along the book, she also added that Lauer’s alleged behavior was part of an industry standard.
“The general rule at that time was: it’s none of your business,” she wrote.
She added that “fraternization existed and was going on unabated, where people were having relationships with other people within the business.”
Among Lauer’s actions it was reported that he had a device in his office that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without leaving his desk.
“His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy,” Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh wrote.
Couric faced backlash for her book on Wednesday from her former colleague Ashleigh Banfield. Couric claimed that Banfield’s father was pushing Banfield to take Couric’s original spot which Benfield denies.
“That hurt my feelings deeply,” Banfield said. “And I hope Ms. Couric corrects the record on that.”