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Meredith Vieira Sets Record Straight on Hubby’s Health

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Family first!

Meredith Vieira wants her fans to know exactly why she's leaving the Today Show. In a press conference on Monday, the 57-year-old journalist said her family was a driving force behind her decision to leave.

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"I was extremely torn because I love it here," she said. "But I had personal issues that were weighing on me and I felt that I really needed to examine them closely and make a decision based on them."

"I went back and forth and back and forth. It was really at the last minute that I had to go with my gut, and I know that it's the right thing, but it doesn't make it any easier."

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The former View co-host said her last day at NBC — June 8 — coincides well with her kids' schedules. '"My daughter graduates from high school June 9, and my son graduates from college June 12, and we're hoping to take a family vacation, so it just sort of felt right."

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One rumor Vieira wanted to squelch was that her decision to leave had anything to do with her husband Richard Cohen's 38-year-battle with multiple sclerosis. "There's so much speculation in the press recently about 'poor Meredith and her invalid husband,' and I want to set the record straight on that. My husband Richard is in good health and that's part of the reason I want to leave right now because I appreciate what that means," she said. "I want to be there with him and I want to have fun and appreciate our time together and not have to punch a clock so much."

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