Katie Couric has revisited her comments about Matt Lauer in 2012, saying that she regrets joking about the disgraced news anchor.
Couric appeared on Tuesday's Watch What Happens Live, where she and Andy Cohen discussed her first appearance on the show back in 2012. At the time, she joked that Lauer "used to pinch me on the a—." In November, after Lauer was fired for "inappropriate sexual behavior," the clip resurfaced, and now Couric says that she regrets her old joke.
"I was playing Plead the Fifth with you... and I said to you, 'What's Matt Lauer's most annoying habit?'" Cohen recalled during Tuesday's show. "You said, 'He used to pinch me on the a—.' I laughed thinking you were joking."
"I was joking!" Couric replied. "I was joking. It was a total joke, and in fact, when that started circulating, Andy, I was like, 'Oh, my God -- I was on 'Watch What Happens Live!' It was so antithetical to the nature of our relationship. I thought it would be funny because it was so weird. It was totally a joke, but I was really sorry I had made that joke because people misconstrued it."
While Couric may have been joking in 2012, her co-worker, Ann Curry, lodged a legitimate sexual harassment complaint against Lauer that year, according to recent report by The Washing Post. A former TODAY Show staffer told the publication that she went to Curry at the time, saying that she had been "sexually harassed physically by Lauer.
Curry took the complaint to NBC management, as the staffer reportedly feared retaliation and wanted to remain anonymous.
"A woman approached me and asked me tearfully if I could help her," Curry told The Post. "She was afraid of losing her job... I believed her."
"I told management they had a problem and they needed to keep an eye on him and how he deals with women," Curry said.
NBC fired Lauer suddenly on Nov. 29, 2017, claiming that they had received an accusation from a single unnamed employee. However, it came to light shortly afterward that reporters from Variety had been compiling dozens of stories about Lauer's misconduct for weeks beforehand.0comments
In the time since, many more allegations against Lauer have surfaced. The news anchor is now in the midst of a contentious divorce from his wife, Annette Roque, and sources say he's having a hard time adjusting.
"Matt cut himself off from the life he knew in Manhattan and has remained for the most part isolated," an insider told Entertainment Tonight. "He looks exhausted. Matt is finally coming to terms with the reality that his marriage is over and he is in bad shape. He feels he lost everything important in his life overnight. He is embarrassed and ashamed."