Matt Lauer Remains 'Withdrawn' 5 Years After Today Exit: 'Talking to People from His Past Is Painful'

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Matthew Lauer
Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic Matt Lauer
Matt Lauer continues to expand his inner circle five years after being kicked out of the Today show.
A source exclusively told PEOPLE that the former morning show host, 64, has "kind of pulled out of several friendships over the last year," particularly following the release of his former co-host Katie Couric's memoir Going There.
"He was really upset about Katie Couric's book," the insider reveals. "She shared her private text messages and half spanked him. As a result, he lost confidence.”
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The source continues, "His level of trust just shrank with a lot of the people he considered friends, and a lot of that was because of Katie's book and because it's painful to talk to people from his past."
RELATED: Katie Couric on being 'shocked' by Matt Lauer's behavior: 'It just seemed so callous'
Katie Couric and Matt Lauer
James Devaney/WireImage Matt Lauer and Katie Couric
The insider adds that Lauer is going through a "time in transition" with his two older children - Jack, 21, and Romy, 19 - who are now in college and his youngest, 16-year-old Thrijs, who is in high school “ is located. The source notes that he's a "half-empty nest that doesn't work."
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A Couric representative did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
During an appearance on Today in October 2021, the 65-year-old Couric said when she heard about the allegations against Lauer, it was "really, really hard and it took me a long time to process what was going on."
RELATED VIDEO: Katie Couric on being 'shocked' by Matt Lauer's behavior: 'It just seemed so callous'
"The side of Matt I knew was the side of Matt you all knew. He was kind, generous, considerate, a good colleague," she said. “I got more information and learned more about what was going on behind the scenes. And then I reported it myself, talked to people, tried to dig up what was going on. It was really devastating and also disgusting.”
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"I think I realized there was a side of Matt that I never really knew. I was trying to understand why he acted the way he did and why he was so reckless and callous and honestly insulted other women," Couric continued.
In a 2021 PEOPLE cover story, the television personality reiterated how she was "shocked" after learning of the allegations, calling Lauer's behavior "grossly inappropriate."
"That's not the Matt I knew," Couric said. "People have a duality, and sometimes they don't let you see both sides."
RELATED: Katie Couric Stands by New Memoir on Today: "I Want to Share the Messy Parts" of My Life
katie-couric-matt-lauer.jpg
Kevin Mazur/Getty Matt Lauer and Katie Couric
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RELATED: Katie Couric says she has 'no relationship' with Matt Lauer today, calls his behavior 'disgusting'
Lauer was fired from NBC in November 2017 after a former network employee, later identified as Brooke Nevils, reported that he had sexually harassed her. Several other women came forward shortly after with similar allegations.
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Nevils went public with Ronan Farrow in 2019 for his book Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators. Nevils claimed to Farrow that Lauer raped her in his hotel room at the Sochi 2014 Olympics, where she was working for NBC's Meredith Vieira. Lauer has said that all of his encounters were consensual.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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