Ann Curry with Matt Lauer during their time at Today in the US. Curry said she was “not surprised” by sexual misconduct claims against the star. Picture: Splash News
Ann Curry with Matt Lauer during their time at Today in the US. Curry said she was “not surprised” by sexual misconduct claims against the star. Picture: Splash News

Co-host ‘not surprised’ by Lauer claims

A FORMER US Today host has revealed she's "not surprised" by the Matt Lauer sex scandal.

In her first TV interview since leaving the show in 2012 after reported tensions with Lauer, Ann Curry said she would have been surprised if anyone at the show didn't know about her former co-host's behaviour with women, adding that there was a culture of sexual harassment at NBC, reports Fox News.

"I can tell you that I am not surprised by the allegations," Curry said on morning TV in the US, regarding the harassment and assault claims against Lauer.

Curry was then pressured to talk about whether others at NBC and Today knew about Lauer's alleged behaviour at the time.

 

"I think it would be surprising if someone said they didn't see that," an uncomfortable Curry said. She added, "I would be surprised if many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed."

Curry's revelations come as Today's longtime producer Don Nash announced he was stepping down after 30 years.

He will be replaced by Libby Leist, the first female to serve as executive producer in the show's history.

Curry's comments seem to fly in the face of the network's repeated claims that they were unaware of Lauer's behaviour. Her statements put the spotlight back on the network's refusal to conduct an independent investigation into Lauer and the issue of sexual harassment at NBC.

Former US Today co-host Ann Curry has broken her silence on disgraced former colleague, Ann Curry. Picture: CBS
Former US Today co-host Ann Curry has broken her silence on disgraced former colleague, Ann Curry. Picture: CBS

NBC News Chairman Andy Lack recently announced a "culture assessment" of NBC News and an assortment of other bureaucratic efforts he's establishing to combat sex harassment - such as focus groups and mandatory training on workplace behaviour and harassment prevention. None of the steps taken by NBC News place any blame on leadership that may have allowed Lauer's alleged predatory behaviour to thrive.

Matt Lauer and Ann Curry in happier times in 2006. Picture: Splash News
Matt Lauer and Ann Curry in happier times in 2006. Picture: Splash News

While saying earlier that she knew what it was like to be "publicly humiliated," Curry would not point the finger at Lauer.

"You should ask someone else," Curry told King. "I'm not the one to ask about that, no, because I don't know what was behind it. I know that it hurt like hell. It wasn't a great moment."

CBS This Morning host Gayle King also pressed Curry to address the longtime rumours that Lauer was behind her firing from Today in June 2012, when it was said that executives reportedly referred to the plot to remove Curry, 61, as "Operation Bambi."

Lauer reportedly did not like his co-star.

Curry left the network permanently in 2015.

Ann Curry with Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie on her final Today appearance in 2012. Picture: NBC
Ann Curry with Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie on her final Today appearance in 2012. Picture: NBC

 

When news first broke that Lauer had been fired, Mr Lack initially claimed there was only one complaint about Lauer in 20 years - the one that led to his dismissal. But the executives soon backtracked, with NBC clarifying in a statement that only "current" management was in the dark about "reports" of Lauer's conduct.

Even the second statement has raised eyebrows and the Variety reporters who broke the Lauer bombshell, Elizabeth Wagmeister and Ramin Setoodeh, questioned the claim that current NBC employees were unaware of Lauer's misconduct.

All this is occurring as Mr Lack and his top deputy, Noah Oppenheim, still have not explained why they sat on two of the biggest stories of the decade: Ronan Farrow's investigation of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and the Access Hollywood tape of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women.

After NBC passed, Farrow, who recently jumped ship to HBO, took his work to the hallowed New Yorker magazine and is now receiving Pulitzer Prize buzz. The tape of Mr Trump caught on tape was leaked from within NBC to the Washington Post's David Fahrenthold, who is Oppenheim's friend from prestigious Harvard University where they worked as editors together on the student newspaper.

Ann Curry appeared on TV in the US, in her first interview since she left the Today show in 2012. Picture: CBS
Ann Curry appeared on TV in the US, in her first interview since she left the Today show in 2012. Picture: CBS

Observers have recently pondered if NBC executives' reluctance to expose other big stars' bad behaviour - via the Access Hollywood tape or Farrow's investigation - was linked to what Vanity Fair called a "glass houses" problem.

 

This story was first published in Fox News and is republished with permission.

 

Matt Lauer with another former co-host Katie Couric. Picture; Supplied
Matt Lauer with another former co-host Katie Couric. Picture; Supplied


'Noisy' farm worries neighbour

'Noisy' farm worries neighbour

Pocket Herbs is installing new fans into a greenhouse

Canadian artists visit Murwillumbah Art Trail

Canadian artists visit Murwillumbah Art Trail

Art launches new friendships

Four things to do this week

Four things to do this week

Looking for something to do?

Local Partners