Katie Couric, the long-time partner of Matt Lauer on the Today show, has issued her first extensive comments on his sexual harassment scandal and subsequent firing.

“The whole thing has been very painful for me,” Couric said to People magazine. “The accounts I’ve read and heard have been disturbing, distressing and disorienting and it’s completely unacceptable that any woman at the Today show experienced this kind of treatment.”

Couric claimed she had “no idea” about the problems. “I think I speak for many of my former colleagues when I say this was not the Matt we knew. Matt was a kind and generous colleague who treated me with respect. In fact, a joke I once made on late-night television was just that, because it was completely contrary to our brother-sister relationship. It’s still very upsetting. I really admire the way Savannah [Guthrie] and Hoda [Kotb] and the entire Today show staff have handled a very difficult situation.”

The late-night show joke Couric referenced dates to 2012’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. In it, Couric says Lauer “pinches me on the ass a lot,”  a clip that went viral after Lauer’s issues surfaced.

Couric and Lauer spent 15 years co-hosting NBC’s Today show. She left in May 2006 to anchor the CBS Evening News.

Lauer left NBC after a detailed complaint about inappropriate actions surfaced. Lauer since apologized for his actions.