Justin Sylvester has explained why he moved Jenna Bush Hager away from him on the Today show.
The presenter and Marry Me star was guest co-hosting Wednesday’s episode (10 August) when viewers noticed him shrugging Hager’s hand off his shoulder, and then lightly moving her away from him, while they were watching chef Andy Baraghani roast a chicken.
Hager, 40, laughed at Sylvester’s actions, and could be seen looking at the camera several times.
She also asked Sylvester, 35, at one stage: “Do you want me to go?”
The moment was considered uncomfortable by viewers, and sparked a debate surrounding consent and physical contact. Some viewers even suggested Hager should be suspended.
However, Sylvester himself has cleared up the matter, writing on Instagram that the pair were having a joke and that there is no truth to the claims he was uncomfortable with Hager, whom he called the “nicest” person.
Instead, he said that the pair were jokingly flirting with Baraghani.
On his Instagram Stories on Fairday (12 August), Sylvester said of claims he was uncomfortable: “That’s not actually the truth. What we were doing was we were both flirting.
“Well, I was flirting with the chef because he was cute, and I was pushing her out of the way so I could have a one-on-one moment with the chef.”
Sylvester is best known as the host of Daily Pop on E!, which he co-presents with Morgan Stewart.