Ann Curry Says She's 'Not Surprised' by Matt Lauer Sexual Misconduct Allegations

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Ann Curry CBS This Morning
CBS This Morning

Ann Curry gave her first TV interview on Wednesday since leaving the Today show in 2012.

The 61-year-old newswoman appeared on CBS This Morning, and openly addressed the sexual misconduct allegations that led to the firing of her former colleague, Matt Lauer, in November.

"I am not surprised by the allegations," she told Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell when asked about the accusations. 

Curry seemed to be internally battling with how much to say on the subject, adding, "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."

That being said, Curry does admit that she witnessed "verbal harassment" during her time on Today.

"I can say that I would be surprised if many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment that existed," she expressed. "I think it would be surprising if someone said that they didn't see that. It was verbal sexual harassment."

Curry told the co-hosts that women speaking out about harassment is "overdue," proclaiming, "This is about power, a power imbalance where women are not valued as much as men."

"We clearly are waking up to a reality and injustice that has been occurring for sometime," she continued. "I think it will continue to occur until the glass ceiling is finally broken."

Curry -- who now hosts the PBS show We'll Meet Again -- also supports the decision to have two women, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, co-hosting Today. "The idea that women are involved speaking to women is actually an overdue idea. So absolutely, I think it's a good idea."

King then pressed Curry about speculation as to whether Lauer was behind her leaving Today five years ago. "You'll have to ask someone else," she said. "It hurt like hell." 

As for what she's learned about herself since leaving Today, Curry noted, "When we open our arms wide to life, all the good and the bad, if we can just open ourselves wide to it and embrace it. We can learn what we need to learn and we can go on and become better people."

 

After Curry's interview aired on CBS This Morning, a source at Today told ET that staff members were "happy to hear" her story. "They were pleased she finally spoke out," said the source. "It wasn’t necessarily the talk of the office, but people definitely mentioned it. Ann is very loved by the show and network. There weren’t any negative comments going around when people watched [the interview]. There’s nothing bad that can be said about Ann."

The source added, "She’s an incredible journalist and a kind person. A lot of people were upset when she left [the show] and a lot of people would love to see her return in some capacity. She has stayed in touch with certain people at the show since her departure."

Curry also spoke with People magazine about the sexual misconduct allegations against Lauer, saying that she felt "outrage," and had "tremendous empathy for the victims."

Following Lauer leaving Today, many fans of Curry tweeted that she should feel vindicated, referring to the rumors that he was behind her leaving the morning show.  “I wish I could say that I was celebrating,” she responded. “But actually I immediately checked myself, because I knew women had suffered.”

    While Curry was "not surprised" by the accusations lodged against her former co-host, a source told ET at the time of Lauer's firing that Guthrie was "visibly" shaken by the news.

    "She is doing her best to stay upbeat and jolly on-air," the source said, adding that Guthrie was "not herself" and appeared "sad, in deep thought and preoccupied."

    Here's more of Curry talking about Lauer:

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