Katie Couric wrote sympathetic texts to Matt Lauer after he had been fired for sexual misconduct including one that read: ‘I love you and care about you deeply’.
Just as it was revealed that Lauer had preyed on multiple female producers at NBC, Couric texted him ‘I am crushed’, in one of several messages she reproduces in her new memoir.
In Going There, Couric explains that hosting Today with Lauer for nine years left her feeling sorry for him in spite of the appalling allegations.
She writes that Lauer was a ‘decent’ man, worried how he would break the news to his kids and that it felt ‘heartless to abandon him.’
Lauer was fired by NBC in November 2017 after reports he had crossed the line with numerous women at the network over many years.
In her new memoir, Katie Couric reveals she sent messages of support to former colleague Matt Lauer after he was fired from NBC for sexual misconduct in 2017
Reports said that he gave one woman a sex toy and an explicit note saying how he wanted to use it on her. He was also accused of showing another woman his penis in his office and played ‘f***, marry or kill’ in the office.
Lauer’s wife Annette divorced him in a stunning fall from grace for somebody who was once the highest paid TV host in the country earning $25million a year.
Since then, journalist Ronan Farrow made the even more serious allegation in his book, Catch and Kill, that Lauer raped Brooke Nevils, a former NBC News employee, at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.
According to Nevils, she was in Lauer’s hotel room when he pushed her onto the bed and asked if she liked anal sex, which she ‘declined several times.’
Going There will be published in late October by Little, Brown and Company
Despite this, Lauer ‘just did it’ to her, without using lubricant making it ‘excruciatingly painful.’
Lauer denied Nevils claims but said he was ‘truly sorry’ for the wider allegations, saying there was ‘enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed’.’
In Going There, written long after all the allegations came out, Couric spends pages equivocating about Lauer’s behavior.
She writes that ‘my heart sank’ when she heard that Lauer had been fired and says that she ‘couldn’t imagine’ what it was like to be him.
Couric says there was still a part of her that wondered if the allegations were just wild rumors.
On November 28, 2017, the day Lauer was fired, Couric had a brief text exchange with Lauer which she reproduces in the book.
‘I am crushed. I love you and care about you deeply. I am here. Please let me know if you want to talk. There will be better days ahead,’ she wrote.
Lauer responded with a blowing kiss emoji.
Couric admits she read about all the ‘awful things’ Lauer had done but was worried for him and feared he was ‘sleepless, haggard, depressed, maybe worse.’
Lauer had served as a co-host of NBC’s Today Show from 1997 until his contract was terminated in November 2017 following allegations he sexually harassed an employee
Wife Annette Roque divorced Lauer following the scandal – a stunning fall from grace for one of the highest-paid TV hosts in the country earning $25million a year
Couric claims that it felt ‘heartless to abandon him, someone who’d been by my side, literally, for so many years.’
Eventually she came to realize that he could be an ‘excellent professional partner, a good friend, and a predator.’
Earlier in the book, Couric writes about her time at Today – where she served as a co-anchor from 1991 to 2006 – and admits that she ‘heard the whispers’ about Lauer.
She describes how Lauer’s wife once calling the control room on a Saturday morning asking for the phone number of a woman she thought was having sex with him.
Another time, Lauer mistakenly sent a Today producer a lewd email suggesting she ‘spread butter on her thighs’ and invited her to his office and ‘wear that skirt that came off so easily’.
Couric realized Lauer had a fling with a production assistant with the same surname as the woman he emailed and had written to her by accident.
Couric’s take was that it was ‘gross’ and that Lauer was cheating on his wife and ‘taking advantage’ of a young woman on the show.
But she writes: ‘The general rule at that time was: it’s none of your business’.
Couric, 64, has previously spoken about how difficult the whole Lauer episode was.
Couric admits it felt ‘heartless’ to abandon someone who had ‘been by my side, literally, for so many years’
In November 2019 at the annual Women Who Inspire event, she said that Lauer’s firing was ‘painful for me on many levels.’
Couric said that was ‘especially when it comes to understanding what was going on with Matt, who I think ultimately turned out to be two very different people, in terms of my relationship with him versus some of the other things that were going on.’
Couric, who began her career in 1979, said she came of age in a media culture where ‘fraternization existed and was going on unabated, where people were having relationships with other people within the business.’
She said: ‘Now, I hope these big broadcast organizations are also having a reckoning and realizing there are certain standards, certain behaviors.’
Going There will be released in late October and will be accompanied by an 11-city book tour and a comprehensive media rollout.
DailyMail.com has already revealed how the book is far less flattering than Lauer about former colleagues, ex-boyfriends and even A-list celebrities.
In Going There, Couric says that she gave Ashleigh Banfield, the CNN presenter, the cold shoulder because helping her would be ‘self sabotage’.
Couric rips Deborah Norville, who she replaced on TODAY, for having a ‘relentless perfection’ which turned off breakfast show viewers.
When Couric switched from TODAY to host the Evening News on CBS, staffers fought back with an ‘insurgency’ which left her feeling like Hillary Clinton because she was so under siege
Couric is just as blunt about her love life and says ex-boyfriend Brooks Perlin, who was 17 years her junior, was a ‘mid-life crisis’ while TV producer Tom Werner was a ‘textbook narcissist’.
She also puts down Martha Stewart, saying it took a ‘some healthy humbling (prison will do that . . .) to develop a sense of humor.’
Even the Royal family end up in Couric’s sights and she describes how Prince Harry stank of cigarettes and alcohol when they met, and how Prince Andrew cozied up to Jeffrey Epstein at a bizarre dinner at his New York mansion.