The reporter finally opens up about his regrettable moment with Donald Trump 11 years ago.
Billy Bush has broken his silence on the whole Trump tape debacle more than seven months after the incident. It's been a trying time for him, losing his job while Donald Trump still became President, but he's ready to move on with his life without this hanging over him.
Billy Bush at the 2016 Tennis US Open
The former Access Hollywood correspondent and later co-anchor opened up about his feelings following the leak of a taped conversation between himself and President Donald Trump that took place eleven years previously. He was about to take a flight from New York's JFK International Airport to Los Angeles when the story dropped.
'Things were happening way too fast, and a media circus developed', he said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. 'I've never been the type that the paparazzi would be interested in. So that early part was just chaos.'
Without going into what exactly the tape included, it featured Billy chuckling away to some extremly lewd and sexist comments that Donald Trump was making on an Access Hollywood bus. Billy didn't exactly say anything incriminating himself, but he did appear to encourage the behaviour and was apparently just as unaware as Trump was that their microphones were on.
Following the Washington Post releasing the story, Billy was forced to stay at home for several days as his brand new job with 'Today' hung in the balance. He never got the chance to publicly apologize on air, though he insists he 'would have welcomed addressing the audience'.
Needless to say, having listened to the tape a total of three times, he lives with deep regret about the whole thing. 'I was shocked and alarmed and totally and completely gutted', he said. 'It was awful. And my participation was awful, too. I remember that guy, he was almost sycophantic.'
Plus, it's easy to reflect on what one might have done if one had thought about it in hindsight. 'Looking back upon what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic', he continued. '[Trump] liked TV and competition. I could've said, 'Can you believe the ratings on whatever?' But I didn't have the strength of character to do it.'
He might have lost his long desired job on 'Today' just months after landing it, but he's moving on now after seven months of 'soul searching'.