Ann Curry has remained tight-lipped since the news broke of Matt Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct, but she spoke about the scandal on “CBS This Morning.”
The 61-year-old journalist and producer appeared on the program Wednesday to discuss her new PBS docuseries “We’ll Meet Again” and she was asked to speak on the scandal surrounding her disgraced former co-anchor. Curry admitted that she was “not surprised” by the scandal.
“Do you believe that Matt Lauer abused his power?” asked Norah O’Donnell.
“You know, I’m trying to do no harm in these conversations. I can tell you that I am not surprised by the allegations,” Curry responded. When asked to explain further, Curry struggled to articulate her response.
“That means that … see, now, I’m walking down that road. I’m trying not to hurt people, and I know what it’s like to be publicly humiliated. I never did anything wrong to be publicly humiliated, and I don’t want to cause that kind of pain to somebody else,” Curry said. “But I can say that, because you’re asking me a very direct question, I can say that I would be surprised if many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed. I think it would be surprising if someone said that they didn’t see that.”
She continued, “It was verbal sexual harassment,” before being cut off.
When Curry left NBC’s “Today” in June 2012, it was widely speculated that Lauer was the catalyst for her exit. A fan favorite, it came as a surprise to audiences when Curry broke the news of her exit amid tears, as she was considered one of the top stars at NBC and could have been poised to take over a bigger role on the show. The unexpected departure is likely the public humiliation she was referring to.
The Emmy award winner also spoke with People as part of her press tour for her upcoming show. She discussed the aftermath of being pushed off “Today.”
“It hurt like hell,” she told the publication. “It hurt so much, but I learned a lot about myself. I can say I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve been honest and true. I’ve tried to stay pure. I’ve tried to not respond in a knee-jerk manner, and I’ve stayed very close to who I am. So it hurt, but I’m also proud of myself.”
“CBS This Morning” dealt with its own scandal when co-anchor Charlie Rose was fired in November for allegedly making “unwanted sexual advances” towards several women, including, “lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.”
Anchors Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell denounced their former co-anchor over the accusations.
“It takes a lot of courage for these women to come forward, and I think that they should continue to do so,” O’Donnell said on the broadcast following the news. “This is a moment that demands a frank and honest assessment about where we stand and more generally the safety of women. Let me be very clear: There is no excuse for this alleged behavior. It is systematic and pervasive, and I’ve been doing a lot of listening, and I’m going to continue to do that.”