Billy Bush Leaves ‘Today' After Trump Video Leak

"We wish him success as he goes forward," Executive Producer Noah Oppenheim said in a memo to staff

Billy Bush is leaving the "Today" show effective Monday, according to an announcement from the show's producer.

It comes just over a week after he was heard on a videotape from 2005 in a crude conversation about women with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Bush was suspended from the show on Oct. 9.

The executive in charge of "Today," Noah Oppenheim, said in a memo that day that "there is simply no excuse for Billy's language and behavior on that tape." Bush, who hosted the third hour of the "Today" show, was been suspended "pending further review of the matter," Oppenheim said.

Oppenheim said in a memo to the "Today" team Monday that Bush is leaving the 9 a.m. hour of the show.

"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."

Bush gave this statement to The Hollywood Reporter Monday: "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."

In the 2005 videotape from the "Access Hollywood" archives, Bush, then a host for that show, was taped in a hot-mic discussion with Trump when the future presidential nominee was on a Hollywood set to make an appearance on a soap opera.

On the tape, Trump brags about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women who were not his wife. Bush joins in, laughing at some of Trump's comments and later encouraging an actress to hug Trump.

Bush, 44, has been brutalized on his own Facebook page since the tape surfaced. Hundreds of hostile comments were attached to Bush's last posting Friday — of him distributing a plate of bacon to "Today" viewers outside of the show's studio. "You are sickening!" one woman wrote, in a comment that nearly 5,000 had "liked" through Sunday afternoon.

Bush was only at "Today" for two months, where he had a rocky start. He was the reporter to whom American swimmer Ryan Lochte lied about being robbed at the Olympics. When Bush later tried to defend Lochte on "Today," he was dressed down by colleague Al Roker.

Bush issued a statement apologizing for his actions.

The tape showed Bush and Trump speaking as the Republican was about to appear on the daytime drama "Days of Our Lives." From the bus they had ridden to the set, Bush pointed out to Trump an actress, Arianne Zucker, who was there to greet them.

Bush called the actress "hot," adding an expletive.

"I've gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her," Trump said. "You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful ... I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."

"Grab them by the p----. You can do anything," Trump added.

After getting off the bus, Bush asks the actress to hug Trump, then adds, "How about a little hug for the Bushy?"

The married father of three is the nephew of former President George H.W. Bush.

"Access Hollywood" is owned and distributed by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, MSNBC and this station.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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