NBC’s “Today” show took a few moments 0n Tuesday morning to address the firing of third-hour host Billy Bush.
“NBC News announced last night that Billy Bush would be leaving the ‘Today’ show, effective immediately, noting that he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family,” Matt Lauer said. “A statement Billy released separately last night read in part, ‘I look forward to what lies ahead.’”
The anchor added, “And, of course, all of us here at ‘Today’ wish Billy the very best.”
Here’s Bush’s full statement from Monday evening: “I am deeply grateful for the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, and for all of the support from family, friends and colleagues. I look forward to what lies ahead.”
Bush had officially been placed on suspension from the network earlier this month following the release of 2005 audio featuring the then-“Access Hollywood” host making lewd comments with Donald Trump. He had since been negotiating the terms of his exit from the network.
Previous reports had put the settlement at $10 million, a number disputed by Bush’s attorney Marshall Grossman.
Either way, it appears an agreement was reached just shy of Debate No. 3, which takes place tomorrow night.
Days before the second presidential debate, The Washington Post published a videotape of Trump on a hot mic boasting about kissing, groping and having sex with women. “When you’re a star, they let you do anything … I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he said. “Grab ‘em by the pu-y.”
Bush is heard throughout the tape agreeing with Trump as he made disparaging remarks about a married woman, and even egged him on. It was later revealed that the woman in question was Nancy O’Dell, who was the co-host of “Access Hollywood” at the time.
Bush came forward to immediately apologize after the tape was leaked, saying he was “embarrassed and ashamed.”