Ann Curry is speaking out about the sexual harassment claims made against her former Today colleague Matt Lauer. Curry was asked about the controversy during a sit-down interview with CBS This Morning on Wednesday, January 17.
“I can tell you that I am not surprised by the allegations,” the 61-year-old veteran journalist admitted.
“Do you believe that Matt Lauer abused his power?” Norah O’Donnell asked.
“Now I’m walking down that road and I’m trying not to hurt people. And I know what it’s like to be publicly humiliated. I never did anything wrong to be publicly humiliated and I don’t want to cause that kind of pain to somebody else,” Curry replied. “But I can say that — because you are asking me a very direct question — I can say that I would be surprised if many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed. I would be surprised if someone said that they didn’t see that. So, it was verbal sexual harassment.”
As previously reported, Lauer, 60, was fired by NBC in late November after a colleague accused him of sexual misconduct in the workplace. NBC News Chairman Andy Lack sent an email to employees just moments before Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb (who has since replaced Lauer) broke the news on the air.
Lauer apologized in a statement a day later. “There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. 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. 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,” he said in a statement to Us Weekly. “I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly.”
He continued: “Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace.”
Curry was co-anchor with Lauer from 2011 to 2012. She left the network after a tearful goodbye, with rumors swirling that her tension with Lauer played a role in her exit.
Curry was asked on CBS This Morning if she believes Lauer was partially responsible for her leaving the show. “You know, you should ask someone else,” she said. “I’m to the one to ask about that. Because I don’t know what was all behind it. I do know that it hurt like hell. It wasn’t a fun moment. I’ve learned a great deal about myself. I’ve really, at this point, let it go. I’ve just let it go. And I think that…it’s been years and I want to sort of move on from that. At this point, I’m thinking, ‘Hakuna Matata.’ It’s just sort of over. But no, I think that the real question, in my view, is: What are we going to do with all this anger? And it’s not just, obviously, about where I used to work. It’s not about where you’re now working. But it’s about the problem that’s pervasive across industries, in workplaces across America. And this is actually the issue. And the question is, ultimately: What are we going to do about it? I wonder if we keep focusing only on these individual scandals if we’re going to move off that foot into creating something better in the future.”
Back in November, an insider told Us that it was an “insane” day for Curry when Lauer was terminated. “Everyone has been very supportive of her though and offering kind words. She has been very diplomatic when responding to people and isn’t relishing in it as people might think she should be,” the source told Us at the time. “She has been getting so many phone calls that people can’t even get through.”