Katie Couric’s daughter, Ellie Monahan, may be a “private person,” but she usually doesn’t mind when her famous mother talks about her on TV or posts about her on social media. That is, if she asks for permission first.
During a recent sit-down interview with AOL, Couric told us exclusively that Ellie sat her down when she was a teenager after her journalist mother talked about her during an interview without asking.
“She’s actually pretty low-key. When she was 16 and I did an interview with a magazine, I told a story about her and she said, ‘Mom, I’d really prefer that you not talk about me in public, and if you do, can you just ask me first?'” Couric recalled to AOL. “I was like, ‘You’re absolutely right.'”
“Ellie is a private person, but I also think that she knows that if I don’t go too crazy — I’m not going to share everything! — everyone is really happy,” she added.
So, when Couric celebrated her 27-year-old daughter’s engagement on Instagram back in February, she presumably got her permission.
“OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG,” Couric gushed on Instagram at the time. “Ellie and Mark are engaged! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG And she’s wearing the ring her Dad gave to me.”
Ellie’s dad, of course, is Couric’s late husband, Jay, who passed away following a battle with colon cancer in January of 1998 at the age of 52, and it’s that touching backstory behind her family’s continued happiness and wellbeing that Couric says makes her followers and fans even more excited when she posts encouraging updates like her daughter’s engagement.
“Because of my situation — her dad died when she was 6 years old — I think she understands that people care about her and wish her well and are invested in her in a really nice way,” Couric explained. “I’m happy that my daughters turned out to be such exceptional people.”
The former “Today” show co-anchor credits a hilariously accurate lesson that she would constantly give her children — she’s also mom to daughter, Carrie, 23 — for keeping their heads on their shoulders despite the pressures that come with having a famous parent.
“I always would tell them, ‘Listen, if you rob a 7-11, you get in a lot of trouble or do something you’re not supposed to do, it’s different for you than it is for the average kid. You’re gonna be on the cover of National Enquirer,'” she said with a laugh. “It was a really good way for them to stay in line.”
For more of AOL’s interview with Katie Couric, where she talks about how her husband’s death inspired her passion for cancer research and the sciences in general, click here.