On their Wednesday installment of NBC's TODAY Show, hosts Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford took a moment to address former colleague Matt Lauer's firing earlier that morning over allegations of sexual harassment.
Both acknowledged the difficulty in squaring these reports with the person they knew, but Kathie Lee went further. "It's a very, very sad day here at NBC," she began. Emphasizing that Matt was a friend, she compared the situation to her late husband Frank Gifford's 1997 affair with a flight attendant, which nearly ended their marriage.
"I'm grappling with should I even share something, but I guess I really should," Kathie Lee said. "The feeling when you've been–and I don't feel 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. You question, you say, 'Was everything a lie? Was everything a lie?' And I think we have to fight against that. Very much fight against that, that the man we know and adore was...the man we loved and adored and continue to.
"I texted him this morning and said 'I adore you, and nobody is perfect in this world, nobody is,'" she continued. "We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, is what Scripture says. And what we need now is forgiveness, and mercy for one another, and we don't need taunts and we don't need ugliness. We have enough of that in the world."
Expressing her "love" to the women who came forward, Kathie Lee also sent her sympathies to Lauer's family, reminding viewers that "there's no bad time to reach out for [God's] help."
Matt's firing came hours before Variety reported the allegations against the former TODAY host. Multiple women alleged that Matt had made lewd comments on the job and exposed himself to female colleagues, among other offenses. Later that day, the New York Times received two more reports from women with similar stories, including an allegation of sexual assault in his own office.
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Kathie Lee asking for forgiveness for Matt's alleged actions seemed to strike many as too much, too soon:
Kathie Lee, meanwhile, is retweeting people who've praised her call for forgiveness. She also shared a few pointed Bible lyrics on Twitter in response to both Matt's firing and the backlash she faced:
Matt issued a statement Thursday morning that was shared on-air by Savannah Guthrie, saying "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions."