Billy Bush Finally Speaks About Trump ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape: ‘It’s Deeply Embarrassing’
"Why were you laughing at the things he was saying on that bus, Dad?"
That's the question Billy Bush's 15-year-old daughter, in tears, asked him just after the infamous recorded conversation from 2005 surfaced during which then-Apprentice star Donald Trump bragged to then-Access Hollywood host Bush that he could sexually assault women freely because he was famous.
"When you’re a star they let you do it, you can do anything," Trump said. "Grab them by the p***y, you can do anything."
Caution: some NSFW audio.
Bush can be heard laughing as he sat inside a bus with Trump. Both men were off-camera, thinking they were having a private conversation. Soon after the tape became public, leading to massive outrage, Bush was fired from NBC's Today show. Donald Trump, however, dismissively claimed that what he said was mere "locker room talk" -- and went on to be elected president of the United States.
"Looking back upon what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic," Bush told The Hollywood Reporter in an extensive interview. "[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."
When asked how it felt to rewatch the tape for the first time since around when it came out in the fall, Bush says, "Terrible. Awful. It's deeply embarrassing."
Bush says he's accepted his fate, that he's tried to learn from it, to grow. He also wants his old job back. "I plan to return to the job that I love, which is television, communicating, interviewing people," he says. "I have changed in a way that I think will make me better at my job. I believe there will be more people like me in crisis."
He's begun doing yoga and meditating, plus attending Tony Robbins seminars. "There was a powerful moment with Tony in front of 9,000 people at the Galen Center [in L.A.]," Bush explains. "He walked to the end of the stage, and he pointed at me in the middle of his thing, and he said, 'One moment in your life does not define who you are.' And the camera hit me, and these people started applauding — it was a little overwhelming but really empowering."
Robin Roberts also spoke with Bush for ABC's Good Morning America. That interview (a clip from which you can see above) will be broadcast Tuesday morning (May 23).
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