Kathie Lee Gifford is praying for “forgiveness” and “mercy” in the aftermath of her former colleague Matt Lauer‘s termination at NBC.
Kathie Lee and her “TODAY” co-host Hoda Kotb opened their Wednesday morning show by addressing veteran NBC host Matt Lauer had been fired by NBC News after the network received a “detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior,” with reason to believe “this may not have been an isolated incident.” The news was announced Wednesday morning by Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.
“We just learned this moments ago. Just this morning. As I am sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this,” Guthrie started the broadcast after reading the official statement given by NBC News chairman Andrew Lack.
The tone was similar when Gifford joined Kotb at the desk.
“It’s a very, very sad day here at NBC,” 64-year-old Kathie Lee began.
“It’s a very difficult, difficult day,” said Kotb, 53. “We found out early this morning, pre-dawn — a phone call about our colleague Matt Lauer.”
“And our friend,” Gifford added.
“And our dear, dear friend,” said Kotb.
Kotb said that it was “going to take a lot of time” to process the revelations.
“Again, it’s that feeling that we were talking about, that I think everyone at home has felt something [like this],” she said. “You’ve loved someone so much, and then you hear something and you go, ‘Wait, what? How does that make sense?’ You grapple with that in your head, and you try to make sense out of it. And it does take time. You can’t figure it out overnight.”
“I don’t know,” said a visibly perturbed Kathie Lee. “I’m grappling with [whether] I should even share something — but I guess I really should.”
Gifford then brought up the affair of her late husband Frank Gifford.
“I don’t feel that Matt has betrayed us in any way at all, but when I found out that my husband had betrayed me, you question your own judgment,” she confessed. “You say, ‘Was everything a lie?’ And I think we have to fight against that, very much fight against that. That the man we know and adored was the man we loved and adored and continue to. I texted [Lauer] this morning and I said, ‘I adore you.’”
“No person is perfect in this world,” she added. “Nobody is. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, is what scripture says. And what we need now is forgiveness, and we need mercy for one another. We don’t need taunts and we don’t need ugliness. We have enough of that in the world. I send out my love right now to the person, whoever it is, that came forward. May God heal that person. I send it to Matt, and his children and his wife — may God bless that family and heal. I’m sorry, Hoda, but in my long life, the only thing I’ve ever been sure of is that only God can heal it. And there’s no bad time to reach out for his help.”
Matt Lauer was a veteran of NBC and “TODAY,” where he worked for more than 20 years. Lauer was reportedly one of the highest paid talents on the show, with an annual contract worth around $25 million, according to the Huffington Post.
Lauer’s dismissal comes just a week after Charlie Rose was fired by CBS News following similar accusations.