Katie Couric says disgraced former co-host Matt Lauer turned out to be “two very different people,” when reminiscing about the one-time top news anchor now battling a litany of sexual assault allegations.
“As you can imagine, I’ve thought a lot about this over the last two years because it has been, to use the phrase that many have used, a reckoning,” Couric told a packed house at the “Dress for Success” annual Women Who Inspire breakfast in New York City earlier this week.
“It’s been painful for me on many levels, especially when it comes to understanding what was going on with Matt, who I think ultimately turned out to be two very different people, in terms of my relationship with him versus some of the other things that were going on.”
As RadarOnline.com has reported, Lauer, 61, has admitted to a plethora of extramarital affairs, many that involved co-workers at NBC, which got him fired after the allegations came to light two years ago.
And as RadarOnline.com recently reported, Lauer’s nightmare is far from over – especially after new allegations of sexual assault during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, in which former colleague Brooke Nevils claimed Lauer raped her, adding that during the assault, she made it clear she was not okay, and even alleged she cried into her pillow when he anally penetrated her without her consent.
But Lauer is steadfast in his denials of rape.
“The story Brooke tells is filled with false details intended only to create the impression this was an abusive encounter. Nothing could be further from the truth. There was absolutely nothing aggressive about that encounter,” Lauer wrote in a letter to VarietyOpens in New Window sent through his lawyer. “Brooke did not do or say anything to object. She certainly did not cry. She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner.
“At no time did she behave in a way that made it appear she was incapable of consent. She seemed to know exactly what she wanted to do. The only concern she expressed was that someone might see her leaving my room. She embraced me at the door as she left.”
That day, Lauer said, marked the beginning of their affair, and “was the first of many sexual encounters between us over the next several months.”
Speaking at the breakfast this morning, Couric called the news business an industry “that was absolutely rife with men with lots of power,” when she got her start in 1979. And today, Couric says there is still much work to be done.
“I got into the news business in 1979, and when you think about it, it was really the first time women were really integrating this industry in full force,” Couric said. “It was this culture where fraternization existed and was going on unabated, where people were having relationships with other people within the business, and I’m sure there were policies against that, but they were never really enforced … now, I hope these big broadcast organizations are also having a reckoning and realizing there are certain standards, certain behaviors.”