Ann Curry finally breaks her silence months after Matt Lauer’s shocking “TODAY” exit

"Today" show co-hosts Matt Lauer and Ann Curry attend the "Today" show 60th anniversary celebration at the Edison Ballroom on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

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Fans of journalist Ann Curry were quick to blame Matt Lauer in the wake of her sudden 2012 departure from “The TODAY Show,” and after his recent fall from grace, they, again, came to her defense. Curry herself had yet to make any comments since Lauer’s exit due to allegations of “sexual misconduct” — until now.

RELATED: Ann Curry’s revenge: fans of the beloved anchor say karma has finally come for Matt Lauer

The 61-year-old mother of two spoke to PEOPLE in preparation for her new PBS documentary to share her thoughts.

“I’m not going to say it wasn’t hard,” said Curry regarding her feelings towards her “TODAY” higher ups. “But I had to let go. And I learned that when you not only let go but open your arms wide and learn the lessons that an experience — no matter how bad — can teach you, that’s when you rise.”

At the time of her departure, a video of Curry fighting through tears as she said goodbye to the team — while Lauer didn’t exactly look sad — went viral.

“It’s hard not to take it personally. You worry, ‘Am I not good enough? Am I not what people need? Am I asking the right questions?’” Curry said at the time.

“When people say negative things or speculate, you can’t help but feel hurt,” she said. “I know NBC pays my salary, but I have never doubted who I work for. I think about the people who watch. They’re the ones who matter to me. I want to feel I haven’t dropped the ball when it comes to them.”

RELATED: Katie Couric speaks out about Matt Lauer’s “Today” show exit: “This was not the Matt we knew”

Continuing with her revelations to PEOPLE, without naming Lauer, Curry made note of her feelings regarding the recent slew of sexual harassment allegations taking place in the media and beyond.

“Most of the men I’ve worked with have been exemplary,” she began, adding, “I feel real hope that change is coming. That our daughters are not going to have to face what the majority of women in this country who’ve entered the workplace have had to face.”

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Fans of Curry can look forward to seeing her once again inspire audiences onscreen as she helps reunite people in the aftermath of traumatic events, when “We’ll Meet Again” premieres Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS.

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