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Ex-NBC News correspondent Ashleigh Banfield believes Katie Couric DERAILED her career after former Today show host revealed in new book that mentoring her 'felt like self-sabotage'

 Former NBC News correspondent Ashleigh Banfield believes Katie Couric derailed her career after the veteran anchor revealed in her explosive new memoir that she felt threatened by the rising star. 

Couric wrote in the bombshell memoir titled Going There: 'For a minute there, Ashleigh Banfield was the next big thing; I'd heard her father was telling anyone who'd listen that she was going to replace me. In that environment, mentorship sometimes felt like self-sabotage.' 

DailyMail.com exclusively published details of Couric's explosive memoir earlier this week. It is out in late October and will be accompanied by an 11-city book tour. 

Banfield, who was at NBC with Couric from 2000-2004, told TMZ that her initial reaction to what was written in the memoir was anger. 

'First I was mad about what she said about my dad because it wasn't true. He was senile and near 80 and he wasn't out telling people that,' she said, adding that she felt it was 'bad fact-checking and it wasn't meant in a mean way'. 

Former NBC News correspondent Ashleigh Banfield spoke on a passage from Katie Couric's memoir that revealed she was threatened by the rising star - and Banfield thinks the jealousy may have derailed her career at the network (pictured responding to the memoir on NewsNation)

Former NBC News correspondent Ashleigh Banfield spoke on a passage from Katie Couric's memoir that revealed she was threatened by the rising star - and Banfield thinks the jealousy may have derailed her career at the network (pictured responding to the memoir on NewsNation)

When Banfield (pictured) responded to the memoir, she noted that in hindsight, she 'got a sense' Couric was behind her demise at NBC and has been 'going over the last 20 years' because at the time Banfield 'really didn't feel like I was a big deal' and Couric 'was everything'
Couric (pictured) wrote in her memoir titled Going There: 'For a minute there, Ashleigh Banfield was the next big thing...mentorship sometimes felt like self-sabotage'

Couric (right) wrote in her memoir titled Going There: 'For a minute there, Ashleigh Banfield was the next big thing...mentorship sometimes felt like self-sabotage.' When Banfield (left) responded, she noted that in hindsight, she 'got a sense' Couric was behind her demise at NBC and has been 'going over the last 20 years' because at the time Banfield 'really didn't feel like I was a big deal' and Couric 'was everything'

While on TMZ Live on Friday she recalled her time at the network, where she was awarded her own primetime show after her ground coverage of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, which earned her an Emmy Award.

But in 2002 her show was suddenly cancelled. 'I had a million viewers at night at 9.00,' she told TMZ, seemingly trying to make sense of what happened.  

Banfield added: 'All I can think about is that I was at the top of my game... I was on the cover of Vogue magazine. There was a full, front-page story about me on the national newspaper in Canada, The New York Post was doing full-page stories. 

'So the press on me was huge and it was positive and just - within an instant, with no warning, no explanation - it was just all over. Everything disappeared. 

'They cancelled me. They took away my office, my phone, my desk. I wandered aimlessly, literally looking for desks to sit at for about 10 months. Then they cleared out a tape closet and put a desk in there and that's where I sat the rest of my contract.'


When asked if she believed Couric had a hand in her demise at NBC, Banfield simply said that she heard rumors and, in hindsight, she 'got a sense,' Couric was behind it.

However, when Banfield thought back to how she felt when she was working at the network, it seemed difficult for her to imagine Couric could do such a thing. 

'Let's not forget, I really didn't feel like I was a big deal,' Banfield noted, adding that Couric 'was everything' on NBC. 

'She made so much money and she was so important and she was so good at her job and I looked up to her. So I didn't believe that it was possible that anything could've been going on behind the scenes to derail me there. I really didn't believe it.' 

'I've just been going over the last 20 years,' she said.    

'I really wanted to live my life there, I love that family. I wanted to die there. I used to say, "They're not getting me out of here unless they take me out in a box,"' Banfield told TMZ. 

'I'm still really not over it,' she said, adding how she remembered watching her 'adored colleagues - Lester Holt, Nora O'Donnell and Mike Brzezinski - moving ahead without me and I just could never understand why and no one would ever give me a reason'.

She said of being driven off NBC: 'They cancelled me. They took away my office, my phone, my desk... Then they cleared out a tape closet and put a desk in there and that's where I sat the rest of my contract.' Banfield now hosts Banfield on NewsNation (pictured), which airs weeknights at 10pm

She said of being driven off NBC: 'They cancelled me. They took away my office, my phone, my desk... Then they cleared out a tape closet and put a desk in there and that's where I sat the rest of my contract.' Banfield now hosts Banfield on NewsNation (pictured), which airs weeknights at 10pm

In Couric's Going There, she detailed her experiences working for The Today Show, including the rivalries she felt with co-workers such as Banfield and her experiences with Matt Lauer, who she reportedly sent sympathetic texts to after he was fired in 2017

In Couric's Going There, she detailed her experiences working for The Today Show, including the rivalries she felt with co-workers such as Banfield and her experiences with Matt Lauer, who she reportedly sent sympathetic texts to after he was fired in 2017

In the TMZ interview it was clear the 'unceremonious' way NBC drove Banfield off the network still hurts. 

'It feels weird to say this but the emotional gut punch that it took to my soul and when NBC sort of kicked me to the curb - it lasted a long time... It broke my heart. It broke my soul,' she said.  

As for the line in Couric's memoir where she alludes that mentoring Banfield 'sometimes felt like self-sabotage,' Banfield 'really wondered if this is it'.

She added: 'It's really hard to process this, I'm not gonna lie, because I have found the most joy in my career having women - and men - look up to me and ask for advice. 

'I kinda get a charge out of it thinking I'm an elder statesman and that I could be that resource for people and I have loved doing it... And I've never felt that it derailed me in any way. The opposite - I got that all back. That investment has always come back to me. So the fact that it might not have happened for me, it's a bit heartbreaking.'

So, according to Couric's memoir, while the rumors from more than two decades ago may be true, Banfield doesn't seem to hold a grudge, and attributed Couric's jealousy to competitiveness between women in the TV industry.

'I'll also say this - it's not easy for women,' Banfield told TMZ. 'And in the 90s it stank. We always felt like we were on the edge of being trashed and cast aside. 

'Ageism for women was so palpable (that) I felt in my thirties that I needed Botox. So I don't think that it's wrong that Katie felt that way. I think that every woman no matter how successful they were felt like they were disposable on television.'

Katie Couric, 64, was pictured on Friday walking along the beach in the Hamptons, close to her East Hampton home. It was the first time she had been seen in public since her explosive memoir - out on October 26 - was leaked

Katie Couric, 64, was pictured on Friday walking along the beach in the Hamptons, close to her East Hampton home. It was the first time she had been seen in public since her explosive memoir - out on October 26 - was leaked

Couric was all smiles as she walked along the beach on Friday in the sunshine

Couric was all smiles as she walked along the beach on Friday in the sunshine

Couric was pictured walking in the sunshine
Beaming in the sunshine, the pair strolled along the stunning East Hampton beach

Couric was seen with a friend taking a stroll in the sunshine, looking relaxed and happy despite the fallout from her memoir - in which she attacked Diane Sawyer, Martha Stewart and Ashleigh Banfield

 Banfield since worked as a correspondent for ABC News and co-anchored the CNN morning news. She now hosts Banfield on NewsNation, which airs weeknights at 10pm.

Meanwhile, as Banfield was reliving her time at NBC thanks to Couric's shock memoir, the 64-year-old was spotted strolling in the sunshine along the beach in East Hampton, seemingly without a care in the world.

On Friday she was pictured near the home, walking on the sand with a friend and looking relaxed and happy - despite the fallout from the explosive memoir.

Her new book, obtained this week by DailyMail.com, has sent shockwaves through the media and show business worlds with its admissions that she deliberately avoided helping younger rivals, and that she even 'heard whispers' about co-host Matt Lauer, who was fired in November 2017 amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

The women who were left 'damaged' by Lauer's actions spoke with Couric as she was writing her book, she revealed, although the former anchor didn't name them.

In one story involving Lauer, she said that he would deal with women behind closed doors in his office, which was equipped with a desk button to lock the door.

Couric writes that one unnamed producer was told by Lauer to come to the now-infamous office wearing a 'skirt that came off easily'. 


Former Today Show host Katie Couric admits that she 'heard the whispers' abut Matt Lauer's inappropriate office behavior in her new book

Former Today Show host Katie Couric admits that she 'heard the whispers' abut Matt Lauer's inappropriate office behavior in her new book

She also claims that Lauer complained to her that he felt uncomfortable putting his arm around a female colleague to comfort her when she cried, over fears he could subsequently face an allegation of inappropriate behavior. 

Even before these allegations were made, Couric said her former co-anchor told her he thought that feminist movements such as #MeToo were becoming too powerful. 

She also used the memoir to tell how she hired a nanny when her now 30-year-old daughter Ellie was a newborn, who became 'delusional' and tried to sabotage her marriage, accusing her late husband of being a pedophile. 

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