Katie Couric is being rattled by a bizarre series of early morning 911 calls made from a home phone registered to her dead husband, police sources said.
Every Tuesday at 2 a.m., Jay Monahan’s phone dials 911. And each time, a patrol officer near her Park Ave. home has been forced to respond. The calls, at least 10 since last month, are under investigation, the police sources said.
Couric told her studio audience Tuesday about the mysterious phone calls during a break while filming her daytime talk show, “Katie.” She said she was so worried that she called Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
“So I called Ray Kelly, who I know just through the years seeing at different things. ‘Ray, this is so weird but can you help me? I don’t know what to do,’” Couric said, according to a member of the audience.
The taping started late and Couric seemed tired, a second audience member, Patricia Edwards, told the Daily News.
“When Katie came out, she apologized and said, ‘I’m very sorry there was a delay.’”
Couric told the audience she had been awakened by a disturbing call. The phone would apparently call 911, sending police to her apartment. She would get an automatic call back to her apartment with an emergency operator on the line.
She referred to it as a “SWAT” call, like prank calls that recently sent Los Angeles SWAT teams rushing to the homes of Ashton Kutcher, Tom Cruise and Charlie Sheen. In Couric’s case, cops have simply sent a single patrol car to the scene after each call
The police had already left Tuesday morning by the time Couric was able to put on a bathrobe and ask her doorman to see what was happening, a witness said.
Most of the calls have come in when Couric has been out of town.
“It’s happened like three times the last three weeks,” Couric told the audience.
“Every day, every time at 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning. I was out of town the last time it happened and apparently it happened before when nobody was home,” she said.
Police are investigating whether someone is using a device to hijack Couric’s phone and call 911, an illegal trick authorities refer to as “spoofing.”
“Katie said it was especially disturbing because it came in on her late husband Jay Monahan’s landline, which she has kept all this time,” Edwards, a retired New York City school teacher, said.
Couric explained to the audience that after the bizarre call, she wasn’t able to fall back to sleep for several hours. She tossed and turned until around 4:30 a.m.
“This is TMI (too much information),” Couric said.
“I don’t know why. I got no sleep, so I am just oversharing,” she continued, getting a big laugh out of the audience.
A friend of Couric’s told The News it wasn’t unusual that the phone was still in Monahan’s name even though he died in 1998 of colon cancer.
“It’s simply their home phone,” the friend said. “There’s no special reason she never changed it out of his name.”
Edwards said Couric first notified staff in her building.
“Katie said she spoke with the staff in her building, and together they decided she should call the local precinct,” Edwards said.
“But Katie also decided to call Ray Kelly in the morning. She said, ‘That is one of the perks of being well-known, that you can get through to Ray Kelly.’ And she said Ray Kelly told her that you have to respond to these things, and that the NYPD would investigate it,” Edwards recalled.
Couric had a brief conversation with the commissioner, who directed her to one of his colleagues to investigate the situation, a source close to the star said.
“The matter is under investigation. We’re trying to determine if it’s a malfunction or not,” a police source said, confirming that Couric and Kelly spoke.