Was Matt Lauer’s alleged history of misconduct news to Ann Curry? The former Today show cohost claims she reported Lauer for sexual harassment on behalf of a colleague in 2012.
Curry told The Washington Post in an article published on Thursday, April 26, that a female staff member at NBC confided in her about being “sexually harassed physically” by Lauer. The We’ll Meet Again host, 61, said she reported the woman’s allegations to NBC’s management team. “A woman approached me and asked me tearfully if I could help her. She was afraid of losing her job … I believed her,” she explained.
Curry didn’t name the woman in her complaint, per her colleague’s request, but she did mention Lauer: “I told management they had a problem and they needed to keep an eye on him and how he deals with women.” The unnamed NBC staffer confirmed she told the journalist about her issues with Lauer.
An NBC spokesman told The Washington Post they did not have a record of Curry’s complaint. The network also said it was not noted in Lauer’s personnel file. NBC News and the Today show are both under different management since Curry’s time on the programs.
“This is one of the problems when we talk about corporations with an HR department being under leadership of someone who might or might not be accused,” Curry pointed out to the paper. “How are they going to complain about it if they are accusing someone who is overseeing the department that is supposed to protect them?” She added that she doesn’t know a company with a system that allows employees to complain without fear of losing their jobs.
NBC fired Lauer, 60, in November 2017 following accusations of sexual misconduct. The longtime journalist spoke out for the first time on Thursday: “I have made no public comments on the many false stories from anonymous or biased sources that have been reported about me over these past several months. I remained silent in an attempt to protect my family from further embarrassment and to restore a small degree of the privacy we have lost.”
His statement continued, “But defending my family now requires me to speak up. I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC. However I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false.”
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NBC made headlines when the network removed Curry from the Today show in June 2012 amid struggling ratings and her tension with Lauer.
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