WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - NBC has suspended television personality Billy Bush from the Today show after a fallout over the host's 2005 taped lewd conversation with US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, according to a show memo seen by Reuters on Sunday (Oct 9).
The suspension comes as a flood of Republicans have withdrawn their support for Mr Trump over the video that emerged on Friday showing the businessman, then a reality TV star, talking with Mr Bush on an open microphone about groping women and trying to seduce a married woman.
In the recorded conversation, Mr Trump was chatting on a bus with Mr Bush, then host of NBC's Access Hollywood, ahead of a segment they were about to tape.
Mr Bush, who is a cousin of former president George W. Bush, said in a statement to Variety on Friday that he was "embarrassed and ashamed" of his comments.
NBC said Mr Bush had been suspended indefinitely from the Today show, where he hosts the third hour of programming.
Mr Noah Oppenheim, the executive in charge of the morning show, wrote in a memo to staff that "there is simply no excuse for Billy's language and behaviour on that tape".
"NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter," he added.
The controversy has pitched Mr Trump, 70, into the biggest crisis of his campaign and deepened fissures between him and establishment Republicans just a month ahead of the Nov 8 presidential election.