Addie Collins was a Today production assistant with dreams of becoming an anchor when her life was derailed by an unexpected relationship with former anchor Matt Lauer. Now she's coming forward to describe the 59-year-old’s sexual misbehavior and backing up accusations that other women have made.
Here's what else we know about Collins.
Collins, 41, who now goes by her married last name Zinone, grew up in a small town in West Virginia. An avid gymnast, she received a gymnastics scholarship to Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she did four years of competitive gymnastics and studied broadcast journalism during her fifth year. In her own words, which she told Variety, she was “wanting to be the next Katie Couric,” the news anchor she had watched every morning.
After meeting with Couric in 1998, Couric helped Zinone get an internship at Today in 1999. Zinone packed her things, left her home, and moved to New York City, living in a women’s Salvation Army home as she worked towards her dream. Eventually, after graduating, she became a production assistant on Today, where she was able to bond with the co-hosts Katie Couric, Ann Curry, and Al Roker. She’d also eventually form a bond with Lauer that was riddled with an imbalanced power dynamic.
Following her month-long sexual relationship with Lauer, Zinone would go on to quit her anchoring position with local West Virginia news station WDTV Channel 5, battling depression that arose from her encounters with Lauer. She enlisted in the army because on her own, she “couldn’t deal with the fallout from this brief but intense relationship.” Later, she’d accept a position with Access Hollywood, but her past with Lauer still followed her.
Coming forward now, years after the consensual relationship had taken place, Zinone is hoping that putting her name and face out there will “squash any doubts about the allegations from other women against Matt Lauer. I’m validating their stories because some of our experiences are similar.”