Ashleigh Banfield, a former work colleague of Katie Couric, is calling out the former TODAY Show host in light of her upcoming memoir Going There. Couric briefly discusses Banfield and their workplace competition in the book, saying: "For a minute there, Ashleigh Banfield was the next big thing; I'd heard her father was telling anyone who'd listen that she was going to replace me. In that environment, mentorship sometimes felt like self-sabotage."
Couric and Banfield have a notoriously cold relationship. Couric has been called out for excluding Banfield on occasion in an attempt to tank her career. The author recently attempted to backtrack her comments in a statement to People, denying having given her the cold shoulder in the past. "Absolutely not. I think if someone was openly saying they were going to replace me, I don't think I helped them. I never iced her out. I never criticized her. It just didn't bring out my generous side."
Though, Banfield doesn't seem to agree with Couric's narrative. The reporter shared a message with The Daily Mail over the controversial mention. "I'd only been at the network for about seven months before being assigned to cover the Olympics in Sydney, Australia. I don't think many people knew my name, my profile wouldn't rise for another year until after the tragic events of 9/11 and the war on terror in Afghanistan," she said.
"Clearly, we have different recollections of what transpired. All I can say is that when you're on the receiving end of this kind of behavior, your memories and timetables become crystalized, since it was a very challenging time for me, personally and professionally," Banfield added.
A source who claims to have worked with the two during the tumultuous time calls phony on Couric's story and her follow-up comments in People. "Ashleigh's father's comments did not run in the New York Post until November of 2001. Katie's timeline of events simply does not add up," the source told Daily Mail. "Katie said in her book that it was Ashleigh's father telling everyone that she was going to replace her, but now she tells People that it was 'someone."
The insider further says Couric "blatantly lied to People Magazine." "I was in Australia when she humiliated Ashleigh and this was in September of 2000 and Ashleigh had only just recently joined MSNBC and NBC News," they said. "I truly hope that when Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb interview Katie on the Today show on Tuesday, they ask her if she plans on apologizing to Ashleigh. Katie has a lot to answer for after writing this book and Savannah and Hoda can't give her a free pass as she's hurt too many people."