Reports: Billy Bush Will Not Return to ‘Today’
Billy Bush might have appeared in his final segment of the “Today” show, according to several reports.
CNN Money reported that the cousin of George W. Bush will unlikely return to NBC following the fallout brought on by a 2005 lewd conversation between himself and Donald Trump.
“He will never be on the show again,” a behind-the-scenes source at NBC told CNN. Another source reiterated the same sentiments.
The Washington Post released the 11-year-old audio of Trump, in which he shared his failed attempts to seduce Nancy O’Dell, on Oct. 7. Bush, who at the time was working with O’Dell as an “Access Hollywood” host, appeared to egg him on throughout the conversation.
Bush issued a statement of apology on Friday evening stating, “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago—I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along.”
NBC suspended Bush on Oct. 9 from his hosting gig of the third hour of the morning show. NBC Executive Noah Oppenheim condemned Bush’s actions in a memo to staff.
“I know we’ve all been deeply troubled by the revelations of the past 48 hours,” Oppenheim wrote. “Let me be clear—there is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.”
On Monday, colleague Savannah Guthrie briefly addressed Bush’s suspension and he has since been replaced by Al Roker.
Bush has only been with the “Today” show for around six months. He had replaced Natalie Morales on the third hour of the show, while she relocated to Los Angeles to replace him on “Access Hollywood” and “Access Hollywood Live” in May.
A source told People magazine that the leak was committed by a former co-worker, who sought revenge on Bush after he didn’t stick up for his then-co-host, O’Dell.
“This was personal,” said the source. “He was turning on his co-workers and friends to suck up to Donald Trump. So it’s like, ‘what does he say about me when I’m not in the room?'”
A source told Us Weekly that Bush was an emotional wreck following the release of the footage, afraid that his actions would cause irreparable damage to his career.
“Billy was devastated and crying when the leaked tape of him with Donald Trump in 2005 was first leaked to the Washington Post. He was crying that his career was over,” said the source familiar with Bush.