Billy Bush is officially out at NBC, 10 days after various news portals published a hot-mic recording of the former “Access Hollywood” host engaging in a vulgar conversation with GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“I am deeply grateful for the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, and for all of the support from family, friends and colleagues,” Bush said in a statement Monday. “I look forward to what lies ahead.”
NBC praised Bush, who most recently worked on the “Today” show, as “a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family.”
“We wish him success as he goes forward,” the network said in a statement.
Bush was suspended from his “Today” show job last week, days after his 2005 conversation with Trump began dominating presidential campaign news. Reports he would not be returning to the morning show soon followed.
Bush hired attorney Marshall Grossman to negotiate his exit. Grossman claimed Bush wasn’t in a position to challenge Trump during their conversation, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “If Billy had been passive or responded ‘Shut the f**k up’ to Trump, Billy would have been out of a job the next day.”
Details of Bush’s exit package weren’t disclosed. The New York Post estimated the former host could receive $10 million.
Bush, a longtime NBC employee, was only three months into a three-year contract with the “Today” show, where he was making about $3.5 million a year, sources told NBC.com.
Bush said in a statement following the “Access Hollywood” tape’s release that he was “embarrassed and ashamed.” He added: “I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”