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Katie Couric Blasts NBCU's Fired CEO Jeff Shell as 'Stupid & Reckless' After Sexual Harassment Allegations

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Source: Vinnie Levine / MEGA

May 17 2023, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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NBCUniversal chief executive Jeff Shell's conduct leading up to his firing outraged Katie Couric, who slammed the CEO for being "stupid and reckless" in her first interview since the news of his departure.

RadarOnline.com has learned the famed broadcaster addressed his misconduct ouster that took place in April following an allegation against him of sexual harassment, questioning why he made decisions that would undoubtedly compromise his career.

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"Clearly someone in a position of power cannot be involved in a sexual relationship with someone whose fate depends on said person," she said during an appearance on Kelly Ripa's podcast Let's Talk Off Camera.

"And so that's why I was just so shocked that Jeff Shell would do this. And what is it?" she pondered. "Is it kind of the power dynamic? Are they so surrounded with yes people, they think the rules don't apply to them?"

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The former Today anchor had previously said similar remarks while discussing former co-anchor Matt Lauer, saying "it was really upsetting and disturbing" when she heard about the allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior.

"I think I realized there was a side of Matt I never knew," Couric had said.

Shell addressed the misconduct claims amid his exit, admitting that he "had an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the company, which I deeply regret."

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"I'm truly sorry I let my Comcast and NBCUniversal colleagues down, they are the most talented people in the business and the opportunity to work with them the last 19 years has been a privilege," he continued.

After being fired for cause, Shell forfeited compensation valued at $43 million for 2022.

Corporate parent Comcast also released a statement on the matter, confirming he would receive only his accrued but unpaid base salary and vacation time, vested employee benefits, and reimbursement for any unreimbursed business expenses.

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The probe was led by outside counsel and began after a harassment complaint was filed against the former CEO by an employee for a Comcast-owned channel.

"It just amazes me that a powerful executive like that would be so dumb, just be so stupid and reckless," Couric told Ripa. "You can see how it happens, but I think you have to be smart and disciplined and know that unless you tell your supervisor, and unless you're not a direct report, that having a relationship with a colleague isn't cool."

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Couric said some people in power struggle with that, explaining it can be "very heady being in an industry and being a quote-unquote 'celebrity,' whatever that means."

She added, "It does do weird things to your head and you have got to kind of remind yourself that, you know, you put your pants on the same way as everyone else."

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