After an Instagram commenter criticized Couric for keeping quiet with regards to Lauer’s shocking firing from his longstanding gig with the NBC show, Couric responded on the social media site, explaining, “It’s incredibly upsetting and I will say something when I’m ready to. Thanks for your interest.”
Lauer and Couric co-hosted Today together for 15 years. She left in May 2006 to anchor the CBS Evening News.
Though Couric stated previously that she and Lauer had platonic “undeniable chemistry,” she herself has also provided hints that his behavior may have crossed lines.
In an interview in 2012 with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live, Couric admitted that Lauer’s “most annoying habit” is that he “pinches me on the ass a lot.”
— Madison Mills (@MadisonMills22) November 29, 2017
Following Lauer’s firing, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie read a statement on the show from Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News.
In part, it stated, “On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.
“Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.”
According to Variety, the claims against Lauer are varied and disturbing. He reportedly made lewd sexual remarks about female colleagues, showed a female employee his penis, gave another female colleague a sex toy and even had a button on his desk that would allow him to lock his office door and “initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him.”