Couric admits being very worried about how her former co-anchor was doing after he was fired and she texted him words of support: “Matt, 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.”
He replied with a kiss emoji, she shares.
As more lurid, disturbing details about Lauer’s behavior were reported in the next few weeks, she was still concerned for Lauer and his family. Molner, who had been golf buddies with Lauer, said she should go see him at his home in East Hampton if she was so worried, “but I didn’t know what I would say,” she recalls. “If I’m being perfectly honest, I was worried about my reputation.”
“If I was spotted there, it might look like I condoned the behavior,” she recalls thinking, noting she could have visited in the middle of the night, a scenario that played out on The Morning Show between co-anchors played by Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell after he’s accused of sexual misconduct. “I was confused and simply not ready to take on the role of sympathetic friend and colleague just yet.”
In December 2017, Addie Collins Zinone—who as a journalism student had reached out to Couric, shadowed her for a day, got an internship and then was hired as a production assistant—alleged that she had a month-long affair with Lauer in 2000. Couric texted Lauer to let her know she was thinking of him. (She writes that she reached out to Zinone in 2019 and they met up in L.A., where the by then married mother of two told Couric that her affair with Lauer was consensual but she also didn’t really feel that she could say no. Zinone told her she didn’t go to her for help, Couric writes, because she felt ashamed.)
In her first interview addressing the scandal, published Jan. 13, 2018, Couric told People that she found all of the accusations “disturbing, distressing and disorienting.” She said, “I had no idea this was going on during my tenure or after I left. I think I speak for many of my former colleagues when I say this was not the Matt we knew.”
Nowadays, they no longer speak and she doubts they will again. She writes, “I know Matt thinks I betrayed him, and that makes me sad. But he betrayed me, too, by how he behaved behind closed doors at the show we both cared about so much.”