As news of Billy Bush’s firing broke late Monday afternoon, it fell to Matt Lauer to announce his former colleague’s departure on Tuesday’s episode of “Today.”
“NBC 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,” Lauer said.
Bush had been suspended indefinitely Oct. 9 after a leaked 2005 “Access Hollywood” video revealed the host engaging in vulgar conversation with Donald Trump, now the Republican presidential nominee.
Monday night, Bush released a statement reading, “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.”
Lauer referenced Bush’s words in his announcement on “Today,” adding, “Of course, all of us here at ‘Today’ wish Billy the very best.”
After the initial leak of video footage, Bush released an apology, stating that at the time the video was taken he was “younger, less mature and acted foolishly in playing along.”
Similarly, Trump dismissed his own part in the footage as “locker room talk.”
Melania Trump, in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that aired Monday night called her husband’s actions “boy talk, and he was led on -- like, egged on -- from the host to say dirty and bad stuff.”