With broadcast icon Matt Lauer’s career imploding in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct, video has surfaced of his former “Today” cohost Katie Couric telling Andy Cohen that Lauer was, well, grabby at work.
“He pinches me on the ass a lot,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone during a “Plead the Fifth” segment of Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” in 2012.
The move was joked about at the time, with Couric laughing after revealing Laurer’s compulsive pinching.
“I wouldn’t have a problem with that!” exclaimed Cohen.
Lauer’s two decades on “Today” came to an abrupt end Wednesday after a still-anonymous woman came forward with a detailed account of sexual misconduct on Monday. By Tuesday evening, Lauer was out and the news was announced live Wednesday morning from the set of “Today” by co-host Savannah Guthrie.
On Wednesday, news emerged that multiple media organizations had been investigating claims against Lauer.
NBC News chairman Andy Lack explained the decision to part ways with Lauer in an internal memo to employees and said a “detailed complaint” against the host had been filed by a staffer on Monday night.
“It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards,” Lack wrote. “While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
In a statement to TheWrap, the accuser’s lawyer Ari Wilkenfeld said he was proud of his client and pleased with how NBC responded to her accusations.
“My client and I met with representatives from NBC’s Human Resources and Legal Departments at 6 p.m. on Monday for an interview that lasted several hours,” said Wilkenfeld, of the firm Wilkenfeld, Herendeen & Atkinson. “Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.”