Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
James Hibberd
October 17, 2016 AT 12:00 PM EDT

It’s official: Billy Bush is leaving NBC’s Today

NBC announced the decision Monday. Bush has been expected to depart the show since the release of Access Hollywood footage more than a week ago showing him engaging in graphic sexual banter with Donald Trump in 2005. 

“Billy Bush will be leaving the Today show’s 9 a.m. hour, effective today,” the network said in a statement to its employees. “While he was a new member of the Today team, he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family. We wish him success as he goes forward.”

Bush released this 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 joined the Today team in August. He was suspended last week after the taped leaked to The Washington Post. Noah Oppenheim, the NBC executive in charge of Today, previously wrote in a memo to his staff, “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.”

The New York Post reported that Bush could receive up to an estimated $10 million as part of the pay-out settlement of his three-year contract. 

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