Following national backlash due to his part in the recently leaked footage of presidential candidate Donald Trump making lewd, sexually aggressive comments about women, Cosmopolitan reports that, after a brief suspension, Billy Bush has officially been let go from the Today Show and permanently released from the NBC network. Bush was only a co-host on the Today show for two months, after replacing Willie Geist in the 9 a.m. hour in August, but had worked for NBC in various capacities for years. Show executive Noah Oppenheim wrote in a staff memo that while Bush was a new member of the Today team, he was a valued colleague. “We wish him success as he goes forward,” Oppenheim said.
Since his suspension on Oct. 9, two days after the tape was released, NBC and Bush’s reps have been negotiating the terms of his exit, Fox News reports. Bush’s lawyer says that Bush is a free agent after his NBC departure. While the financial terms of his deal are confidential, Page Six reports that NBC sources told them that Bush is likely to receive $10 million, the full value of his three year contract.
“Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed,” Bush said in a statement following the release of the video. “It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago—I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.” Monday night, after news of his exit, he said, “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.”
According to Vanity Fair, NBC was apparently getting ready to throw Bush a surprise party in celebration of his arrival to the Today show. Ironically, Bush himself is allegedly responsible for the release of the tape that lost him his job. At a party in August, he is reported to have bragged about having a tape of Trump acting like a “real dog”.
Let this be a message to all: being young and foolish is no excuse, and anything you say or do can come back to hurt you in the future.