Billy Bush leaves NBC 'Today' show after Trump lewd tape

Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:39pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. television host Billy Bush is leaving the "Today" show, NBC said on Monday, after a 2005 video surfaced in which he and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made lewd comments about women.

Bush, 45, was suspended from hosting duties on NBC's flagship morning show after tape came to light 10 days ago. In it, Bush laughed and bantered as Trump, then star of the "Apprentice" reality TV show, boasted about kissing and groping women without their permission and trying to seduce a married woman.

NBC said in a statement, "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 said in a statement 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," he added.

Bush's attorney, Marshall Grossman, said Bush's settlement with NBC did not include any non-compete restrictions and that Bush was "free to do whatever he wishes to do professionally."

He declined to reveal the financial terms of the settlement, citing confidentiality. Grossman had said last week that news reports of a potential $10 million settlement were false.

Bush, a cousin of former U.S. President George W. Bush, became one of the co-hosts of the "Today" show in August. The morning show is one of NBC's most lucrative properties and boasts a large female viewership.   Continued...

Pageant co-hosts Billy Bush and "Celebrity Apprentice" star Claudia Jordan stand onstage at the Miss Universe 2009 pageant held at Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas August 23, 2009.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File photo