Couric shares that she had dinner with Lauer in early November 2017, a few weeks before he was fired from Today. She recalls him telling her that “this MeToo stuff feels like it’s getting kind of out of control. It feels like a witch hunting. After the dinner, she texted him: “Omg, what in the hell did you put into my drink?” Phenobarbital???? Thank you for being such an amazing friend. You are a treasure to me.” To which he replied, “The length of our friendship and the comfort that comes with that is more powerful than any drug in a drink!”
NBC fired Lauer after receiving, per a company memo, a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” At the time, he issued a statement apologizing for any behavior that may have hurt people and saying that “some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.” Couric stated that this was her first interview about the scandal. People that she found the accusations “disturbing, distressing and disorienting.” She said that she didn’t know about the accusations during her tenure or after she left. I think I speak on behalf of many of my former colleagues, when I say that Matt was not the Matt we knew.
Couric writes in an article about the weeks that followed Lauer’s firing. Going There“I took” [journalists’] calls and told them the truth—that it had been widely assumed Matt had a lot of problems in his marriage. I knew he was an athlete, but I didn’t realize his extracurriculars were taking place within 30 Rock.
However, she alleges, on one occasion Lauer accidentally sent the wrong producer a text, asking her “to wear that skirt that came off so easily or something to that effect.” She also writes of hearing a rumor about “a secret office called The Bunker” where an unidentified male anchor went to have sexual encounters.
Couric recalls that the general attitude at that time was, “It’s not my business.” A culture that doesn’t ask but doesn’t tell, where anything can happen. Assuming Matt was having a consensual affair, I didn’t even think about talking to the young employee and embarrassing her.
Couric admits to being worried about her former co-anchor and sent him support words: “Matt. I am crushed. I love and care about your deeply. I’m here. If you would like to speak, please let me know. You will have better days ahead.
She believes they won’t speak again. She wrote, “I know Matt thinks that I betrayed them, and that makes it sad.” He also betrayed my trust by the way he behaved behind closed door at the show that we both loved so much.