Katie Couric breaks silence on Matt Lauer: 'I had no idea'

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Couric told People that she was completely shocked by the accusations against Lauer, which included that he allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted NBC employees during his "Today" tenure.

She departed NBC in 2006 to anchor the "CBS Evening News" and has been criticized for her silence in the more than a month since Lauer was sacked.

'Matt was a kind and generous colleague who treated me with respect. The truth is that a joke I created on late night television was only this, as it was utterly contrary to our brother-sister relationship.

Still, the entire situation is "very upsetting" to Couric, and although she's still unsure how to fully process Lauer's actions, she's optimistic about the future of Today.

Though Couric made a lighthearted comment in 2012 on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen claiming that Lauer "pinches me on the a** a lot", she clarified to People magazine that she wasn't serious. A clip of her saying it circulated after Lauer's firing. "I really admire the way Savannah and Hoda and the entire "Today" show staff have handled a very hard situation".

Lauer was sacked in November over the allegations of multiple women, one of whom claimed he sexually assaulted her while they worked on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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And she now tells People that she was unaware of Lauer's alleged behavior.

Couric initially chose to remain quiet about the situation, writing on social media in December that "I will say something when I'm ready to".

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. "Thanks for your interest", Couric wrote on Instagram.

Couric called the allegations made against her former co-host "disturbing, distressing and disorienting" and said such behavior is "completely unacceptable".

He apologized afterwards in a groveling statement in which he said "some" of the allegations were "untrue".

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