Billy Bush will no longer anchor the third hour of the “Today” show, effective immediately.
NBC fired the 45-year-old anchor following the release of leaked audio involving Donald Trump and himself in 2005 on “Access Hollywood” making lewd comments about women, according to the Associated Press. (RELATED: Billy Bush Suspended From ‘Today’ Show)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
“Today” show staff was notified of his termination in a letter from NBC executive Noah Oppenheim Monday night. (RELATED: Report: Billy Bush Negotiating Exit From NBC After Trump Tape Leak)
“While he was a new member of the ‘Today’ team, he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family,” Oppenheim wrote. “We wish him success as he goes forward.”
The statement also included the first comments from Bush in over a week, according to another report.
(Photo: DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)
“I am deeply grateful for the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, and for all of the support from family, friends and colleagues,” Bush wrote. “I look forward to what lies ahead.”
Bush immediately issued an apology after the tape came out and was suspended two days later but never returned to the show.
“Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed,” Bush wrote. “It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago –I was younger, less mature and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.” (RELATED: Report: NBC Leaked Trump Tape To Washington Post, Held On To It To Maximize Impact)
Reports over the last week have stated that Bush and NBC were in negotiations over his exit.
It has also been reported that Bush notified NBC executives as far back as August about the existence of the tape, something NBC has strongly denied saying they only found out about it a week before the tape came out.
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