AceShowbiz - NBC has officially cut ties with %cBilly Bush% in the wake of the leak of a 2005 audio recording his lewd conversation with %cDonald Trump%. The network announced on Monday, October 17 that Bush's leaving "Today" show.
"Today" show senior vice president Noah Oppenheim informed the show's staffers in a memo which read, "Billy Bush will be leaving the 'Today' show's 9 A.M. hour, effective today. While he was a new member of the broader '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 his own statement, "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."
Bush was immediately suspended after his old conversation with Trump, in which the Republican nominee bragged about using his celebrity status to approach women, leaked. NBC spent more than a week negotiating the terms of departure with Bush and his crisis lawyer before announcing his departure.
Under the separation agreement, Bush is free to seek work elsewhere right away, reports the Associated Press. Other details about the terms of departure are not available, although it was previously reported that Bush would get $10 million settlement from NBC.
Hours before NBC announced Bush's exit, %cMelania Trump% sat down with CNN and Fox News. She defended her husband, blaming Bush for the lewd conversation. "I was surprised, because that is not the man that I know," she told CNN's %cAnderson Cooper% about Trump. "They were kind of a boy talk, and he was [led] on, like egg[ed] on, by the host to say dirty and bad stuff."
To Fox News' Ainsley Earhardt, she said Trump had "apologized to me, and I accept his apology, and we are moving on." She added, "As a successful businessman, entrepreneur, entertainer, to achieving so much in his life, being in so many shows, so many tapes, it's very hard to run for public office."
Cooper also asked Melania about sexual abuse allegations against Trump. "She believes her husband has not done anything inappropriate with women over the years," Cooper told CNN's Wolf Blitzer ahead of the broadcast of the interview on Monday night. "She says she has also seen women directly approach Donald Trump, giving him their phone numbers in front of her, that she's spoken with women who have done that, so she categorically does not believe any of the allegations."