Katie Couric
Katie Couric is pictured attending American Apparel & Footwear Association’s 40th Annual American Image Awards on April 16, 2018 in New York City. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Katie Couric addressed a controversial comment from the past about her former colleague Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC after the network received a complaint about the anchor’s inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.

Following the announcement of Lauer’s termination on Nov. 29, 2017, Couric’s name began to trend online due to an old clip that resurfaced suggesting her co-worker had a long history of sexually harassing women.

The 2012 video featured Couric playing Plead the Fifth during an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.” While playing the game, the television personality was asked what she felt was Lauer’s most annoying habit and she revealed her colleague would pinch her rear end.

However, years later and amid Lauer’s sexual harassment scandal, Couric apologized for her comment. “It was totally a joke,” Couric told Cohen.

“But I was really sorry I had made that joke because people misconstrued it,” she added.

The host insisted she didn’t mean to sound inappropriate and suggested the comment coincided with her and Cohen’s personal relationship. “In fact, when that started circulating, Andy, I was like, ‘Oh my god, I was on Watch What Happens Live.’ It was so antithetical to the nature of our relationship,” Couric explained.

“I thought it would be funny because it was so weird,” she continued.

This isn’t the first time Couric has backtracked on her comment about Lauer’s behavior in the workplace. In January, the journalist told Entertainment Tonight she was aiming to be humorous rather than cause speculation.

“It’s a silly joke on a late night show that was just that, a silly joke, and people, I think, read into everything these days, and I think it just goes with the territory. But it was nice for me to be able to say that that was a joke,” she said.

“I wanted to say that earlier, but then I thought it would open up a can of worms, and I really needed time to process all of this, like I think a lot of people do when a situation like this happens.”

Couric and Lauer first began working together on the “Today” show in 1997 and remained friends following her departure in 2006.

Matt Lauer and Katie Couric
Matt Lauer and Katie Couric were co-workers at NBC. The television personalities are pictured attending The New York Observer Relaunch Event on April 1, 2014 in New York City. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images