Matt Lauer
Matt Lauer’s former fling, Addie Collins Zinone, admitted that their relationship was a “massive mistake.” Pictured: Lauer attends The Rolling Stones celebrate the North American debut of Exhibitionism at Industria in the West Village on Nov. 15, 2016 in New York City. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for for The Rolling Stones

Addie Collins Zinone, Matt Lauer’s former employee and fling, recently admitted that “hooking up” with the host for an entire month was a “massive mistake.”

During her interview on “Today,” Zinone admitted that it’s been very difficult to talk about her consensual relationship with Lauer. “My family is shattered by this. They are afraid for me. This all trickles down to a lot of people that are affected, so having these conversations is really important, but there’s also a lot of shame attached to what I did,” she said.

Zinone added that she decided to keep her story private for 17 years because she felt ashamed of what she did. When she and Lauer hooked up, the host just got married to his wife, Annette Roque.

“I know who I am at my core, I know the values I have, but of course you carry shame. Because again, he has a wife. Even now, I don’t want to pour salt on these wounds, and that’s a really scary thing. You do carry that your whole life,” she said.

Zinone first came forward about her story last week during an interview with Variety. The former production assistant said that Lauer started flirting with her very early on during her career. When she decided to leave “Today” to pursue another job in West Virginia, she asked Lauer for career advice.

Their conversation led to more flirting, and Zinone initially thought that Lauer was just joking. However, he eventually made sexual advances at her, and she reciprocated.

Zinone stressed that what happened between her and Lauer was consensual. But even though it was, she still felt that her story had similarities with the accounts of other woman who accused Lauer of sexual assault. She said that Lauer, who is a man of power, abused his position to take advantage of women.

When she finally came forward about her story, Zinone said that she wants to empower young women in the future. “If you do find yourself in the situation like I did, how can we empower young women in the future to get themselves back, to make better decisions – to not make a mistake like I did,” she said.