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Katie Couric opens up about Matt Lauer allegations: ‘I had no idea this was going on’

Katie Couric opens up about Matt Lauer allegations: ‘I had no idea this was going on’
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Former "Today" show anchor Katie Couric says in a new interview that she never knew about the allegations of sexual misconduct surrounding her former co-host Matt LauerMatthew (Matt) Todd LauerProsecutor drops some charges against Harvey Weinstein Time's Up anti-harassment group names first CEO ACLU's M in anti-Kavanaugh ads won't target Flake, Collins MORE while she was at NBC.

In an interview with "People" magazine, Couric calls the accounts of Lauer's misconduct "disturbing," but says she learned about them only through the media.

"The whole thing has been very painful for me,” Couric said. “The accounts I’ve read and heard have been disturbing, distressing and disorienting and it’s completely unacceptable that any woman at the Today show experienced this kind of treatment."

“I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left,” she added. “I think I speak for many of my former colleagues when I say this was not the Matt we knew."

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Lauer was fired by NBC in November after the network received a "detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior,” saying it had reason to believe it wasn't an isolated incident. Subsequent reports revealed allegations of harassment and assault.

Couric went on in the interview to describe Lauer, who has since apologized for his behavior, as "kind" and "generous."

"Matt was a kind and generous colleague who treated me with respect. In fact, a joke I once made on late-night television was just that, because it was completely contrary to our brother-sister relationship," Couric said, referencing a 2012 TV appearance in which she said Lauer pinched her "on the ass a lot."

Couric worked with Lauer for 15 years on the "Today" show, before she left the network in 2006 to join CBS Evening News as an anchor.

In his apology, Lauer said he was "truly sorry" for the "damage and disappointment" he caused.

"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions," Lauer said in a statement released by NBC.

"To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this, I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC."