“NBC News announced last night that Billy Bush would be leaving the Today show effective immediately, noting that he was a valued colleague and a longtime member of the broader NBC family,” Lauer, 58, said. “A statement Billy released separately last night read in part ‘I look forward to what lies ahead,’ and of course, all of us here at Today wish Billy the very best.”
As previously reported, Bush, 45, was let go from the Today show for his part in a sexist 2005 tape with Donald Trump. Earlier this month, The Washington Post released footage of the GOP presidential candidate, 70, bragging to Bush about groping women before an Access Hollywood interview at the time.
Bush was initially suspended for his behavior. (On Monday, Melania Trump told Anderson Cooper that she believed Bush “egged” her husband on during the crude chat.) Per TMZ, Bush reached a settlement with the network for an undisclosed amount.
As Us Weekly exclusively revealed, Lauer and Bush’s other colleagues — Al Roker and Tamron Hall — disliked him. However, a Today show source told Us, “The anchors and hosts of the show each had a good relationship with Billy. The show staff is comfortable with how the situation is being handled.”
Noah Oppenheim, the executive in charge of the morning show, told the staff about Bush’s departure in a memo on Monday. “Billy Bush will be leaving the Today show’s 9 a.m. hour, effective today,” the email read. “While he was a new member of the Today team, he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family. We wish him success as he goes forward.”
Bush released his own statement, too. “I am deeply grateful for the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, and for all of the support from family, friends and colleagues,” he said. “I look forward to what lies ahead.”
Bush signed a three-year contract with Today over the summer. He previously worked at Access Hollywood for 20 years.
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