What Did Katie Couric Really Say To Matt Lauer After His Scandal Broke?

For years, Katie Couric co-anchored NBC's morning program, "Today," alongside the now-disgraced Matt Lauer. According to WIS News, she served as anchor from 1991 until 2006, when she left to anchor "CBS Evening News" — becoming the first woman to solo anchor a network evening newscast. "Sometimes I think change is a good thing," she said at the time. "Although it may be terrifying to get out of your comfort zone, it's also very exciting to start a new chapter in your life."

NBC wasn't willing to let go of Couric that easily, though. According to the outlet, they offered her $20 million a year to stay. At the time, her salary was somewhere between $13 million and $15 million, and CBS offered her around the same amount. Nonetheless, Couric chose to go with her gut and move on to something new.

Now, Couric has written a tell-all book about her life and time in the industry that has set the Internet abuzz. In it, she revealed what she said to Lauer following his ousting over claims of sexual harassment, and what she said may surprise you. Keep scrolling to learn what she shared. 

Matt Lauer 'crushed' Katie Couric

Katie Couric's memoir "Going There" won't be released until late October, but that hasn't stopped tidbits from leaking. According to the Daily Mail, Couric sent Lauer a heartfelt text message amid the news of his sexual misconduct scandal, 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 to the now-disgraced newsman. Lauer responded with the kissing face emoji.

Couric wrote that although she had read about the "awful things" he had done, she still worried that he was "sleepless, haggard, depressed, maybe worse." She argued that it would have been "heartless to abandon him, someone who'd been by my side, literally, for so many years." Couric admitted in the book that although she had "heard the whispers" about her former co-host, she eventually reconciled the fact that Lauer was an "excellent professional partner, a good friend, and a predator."

In perhaps the most salacious excerpt reported in the Daily Mail, Couric revealed that Lauer was at one point having an affair with a young production assistant with the same last name as her, and accidently sent her a raunchy email. Couric found it "gross" that Lauer was "taking advantage" of a young colleague, but ultimately kept it to herself. "The general rule at that time was: it's none of your business," she wrote.

Where is Matt Lauer today?

Matt Lauer has kept a very low profile since his ousting from "Today" in 2017. So what exactly is Matt Lauer doing now? According to Distractify, he has been hiding out in the Hamptons the entire time. The outlet reports that Lauer sought refuge in the posh beach community after his then-wife Annette Roque kicked him out of their family home following his humiliating scandal. Roque had actually tried to divorce him previously in 2006, claiming he had committed "'cruel and inhumane' acts against her." Allegedly, she opted to withdraw the divorce filing after Lauer offered her $5 million, claiming a divorce would hurt his public image.

Lauer has been dating Shamin Abas since 2019. Abas is a PR executive with high-end luxury clients like Rolls-Royce and Dom Pérignon. In fact, Page Six spotted Lauer and Abas at the same Hamptons event as Roque in late August. It appears that the exes did not interact, though the tabloid claims they were "just a few feet away" from each other.

Katie Couric cited workplace 'fraternization' as Matt Lauer's Achilles heel

Throughout her storied career, Katie Couric has never been one to shy away from controversy — a point unfortunately exacerbated by her defense over disgraced news anchor Matt Lauer. To make matters even worse, Couric has admitted to being aware of Lauer's lascivious, off-screen behavior and had an interesting justification for such: "fraternization." Per the Daily Mail, Couric, who began her journalism career in 1979, explained at a 2019 Women Who Inspite event that she rose to prominence in a world where workplace "fraternization existed and was going on unabated" and "where people were having relationships with other people within the business." 

However, it is true that Couric did come up in a male-dominated field — as mentioned, Couric was the first solo female news anchor in the United States, and that only happened in 2006. That world is continuing to see change. In fact, Couric hopes that Lauer's scandal serves as a wake-up call to all news organizations around the world, stating, "Now, I hope these big broadcast organizations are also having a reckoning and realizing there are certain standards, certain behaviors."