Entertainment

Katy Tur shares her reaction to her father’s revelation as transgender


Katy Tur talks about her tumultuous childhood and her reaction to her father coming out as transgender.

The NBC News correspondent, who is the daughter of legendary Los Angeles broadcasters Zoey (formerly Bob) Tur and Marika Gerrard, spoke with TSWT Sunday morning to share his experience.

Growing up, the broadcaster thought his parents, who were known to report the news from their helicopters, were “the coolest people in the world”. Tur shared that she “even knew how to fly a helicopter” as a child.

“It was a really unique and interesting childhood that no one else had,” said Tur, 38, who recounts her experience in her new memoir, Disorganized.

However, she also witnessed her parents’ struggles up close. In 2013, Tur received a phone call from his father in which he told her he was transgender.

“My father said, ‘I am a woman.’ And I said, ‘what?’ And my father said, “I’m a woman. I’m in transition,” Tur recalled. “I’m going to be a woman.”

Tur said she was initially “intrigued” by the announcement, responding, “You must be kidding. Are you kidding? What are you talking about?”

“My dad was adamant,” she continued. “‘I’m not the right person. I’m going to become the right person. Can’t you see that’s why I was so angry?’ … It was a lot.”

Tur, who is married to TSWT Matinees anchor Tony Dokoupil, said her father would experience “tantrums” when she was younger and would become “abusive”. She added that they did not involve the police as it would harm her father’s career and his ability to support the family.

“Something would trigger him, and he would get so out of control that he would throw his fist through a wall,” recalls Tur, who sat with her mother during the interview. “And it happened a lot. I mean, we’d go to the store, we’d buy plaster, plaster [the walls] at the top. The violence was still there. It felt like that was normal, like that was how a relationship worked. It got angry, it became violent. You screamed and you screamed, and then everything was fine.”

In response to Katy’s claims, Zoey Tur acknowledged the explosions in a separate interview with TSWT Sunday morning‘s Tracy Smith, during which she said she “missed” her daughter.

“Throwing stacks? Probably, yeah. Hitting walls? There were a few. I was in the news business and I – we – were under… extraordinary pressure,” Zoey said. “I could be very intimidating, that’s for sure. And, you know, and if the kids thought I was intimidating, I apologize. I tried my best.”

Katy Tur, author and NBC News correspondent. (Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune)

Katy and Zoey are separated and haven’t seen each other in 10 years. However, Zoey told Smith that she was comfortable with Katy sharing these stories.

“If it takes an act of public humiliation, on camera, to make Katy feel better and feel vindicated, so be it,” Zoey explained. “I’m happy to do this. I love him so much.”

However, Tur’s memoirs are not only about his family situation. She clashed several times with Donald Trump during the former president’s campaign in 2016, and was later targeted by the then-presidential hopeful.

The journalist also faced rampant sexism early in her career. An excerpt published by vanity lounge recounted how, at one of her first jobs, she was told her “boobs looked too big” for television and that she needed to adjust her style, as Yahoo Life previously reported.

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