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Katie Couric Calls Matt Lauer's Behavior 'Grossly Inappropriate' After Previously Offering The Disgraced Host Sympathy

Oct. 13 2021, Published 12:51 p.m. ET

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Katie Couric is telling the truth about her mixed feelings regarding Matt Lauer’s sexual harassment scandal.

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The 64-year-old journalist is now condemning the actions of her former Today co-host, despite having previously shown him support.

In a recent interview with PEOPLE, Couric described her former pal’s behavior as “grossly inappropriate” and “callous.”

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katie couric calls matt lauers behavior grossly inappropriate after previously supporting him
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“And that’s not the Matt I knew,” she told the outlet. “There’s a duality in human beings, and sometimes they don’t let you see both sides.”

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Lauer was booted from NBC in 2017 after Brooke Nevils — a former employee of the network claimed that she had been sexually harassed by the once-famed host — inspiring a flock of other women to come forward with similar accusations.

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Couric also stated that it felt “heartless to abandon” her old pal at the time, referring to him as a “decent” man in her upcoming book Going There.

She even texted the TV personality after he was let go from the show, writing: “I am crushed. I love you and care about you deeply. I am here. Please let me know if you want to talk. There will be better days ahead.”

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katie couric calls matt lauers behavior grossly inappropriate after previously supporting him
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The news anchor maintained to PEOPLE that she never witnessed anything to be concerned about in Lauer’s interactions with women in their time working together.

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“He might comment on a movie star or something, saying, like ‘oof, she’s unbelievable,” she admitted. “He was admiring of beautiful women. But I never felt he was pervy or inappropriate in my presence, ever.”

She also dubbed her old friend as a “player” in the interview, but she insisted that the pair didn’t share the “intimate details of their personal lives.”

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“I think we all have these euphemisms that we used to use for bad behavior — and player was one of them,” she said. “He was a flirt. Certainly I read that he was unhappy in his marriage. But, honestly, I never had that discussion with him.”

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“I think it’s hard for people to understand that we didn’t share intimate parts of our lives with each other. I could count on one hand the times that I talked to him as I would a confidant or a really close friend,” she added.

katie couric calls matt lauers behavior grossly inappropriate after previously supporting him
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The news personality continued, “Our offices were next to each other, and so I think when he engaged in this kind of behavior, he was extraordinarily secretive about it. I [had] heard a few pieces of gossip, that he was involved with an anchor, and I remember thinking, 'Who knows if this is true?' I think it was considered nobody's business. At many news organizations in the '90s and early 2000s there was a lot of inappropriate fraternization."

Couric revealed that it took her a while to process the allegations against her former co-anchor.

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“It took me a very, very long time to kind of come to terms with it,” she said. “Also, to appreciate the damage that was done to women who were taken advantage by powerful men.”

She confirmed to the outlet that she is no longer speaking to Lauer, and that it isn’t her place to offer him forgiveness.

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“We’re starting to look at, as a culture, certain offenses — and I'm not putting Matt in this category, but where is there room for redemption, personal growth and grace,” she said. “It's not for me to say with Matt."

She concluded: “It’s really not for me to forgive him. This is Matt’s story and it’s the story of the people he exploited.”

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