NEW YORK (AP) — NBC News has fired “Today” show host Billy Bush, who was caught on tape in a vulgar conversation about women with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump before an “Access Hollywood” appearance.
Bush was suspended at the morning show two days after contents of the 2005 tape were reported on Oct. 7. NBC and Bush’s representatives had been negotiating terms of his exit before Monday’s announcement.
On the tape, Bush is heard laughing as Trump talks about fame enabling him to grope and try to have sex with women not his wife.
Bush later said he was “embarrassed and ashamed.” Trump has since denied groping women.
Bush, who had been at “Today” for two months, is the nephew of Republican former President George H.W. Bush.
NBC made the announcement of his firing in a note from “Today” show top executive Noah Oppenheim to his staff. Oppenheim called Bush, who spent 15 years at “Access Hollywood,” ”a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family. We wish him success as he goes forward.”
Bush, a 44-year-old father of three, said that he was “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.”
The separation agreement with NBC includes no non-compete clause, meaning Bush is free to seek work elsewhere right away, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly about terms of the deal and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. There were no other details about the terms immediately available.