NEW YORK (AP) — Former “Today” co-host Billy Bush says he’s a better man and ready to get back into television seven months after being fired from his job at NBC following the release of a videotape in which he can be heard engaging in lewd talk with Donald Trump.
In an interview posted Sunday, Bush told The Hollywood Reporter the past months have “been a roller coaster” that included an apology to his three daughters.
Bush said his then-15-year-old daughter, Mary, called him in tears from her boarding school when the news broke, and asked him why he could be heard laughing at the things Trump was saying on the old tape.
“It hit really hard, and I stopped for a second, and I said, ‘I have no answer for that that’s any good. I am really sorry. That was Dad in a bad moment a long time ago,” Bush said.
The 2005 tapes featuring Trump’s shockingly vulgar and sexually charged comments emerged a month before the November elections, rocking Trump’s campaign and prompting condemnation from politicians on both side of the aisle. In a videotaped apology, Trump declared he was wrong but also dismissed the revelations as “nothing more than a distraction” from a decade ago. He later said that he never did any of the actions described on the tape, and dismissed his words as locker room talk.
Bush, who had recently been hired as co-host of the “Today” show, lost his job. He said he went through a lot of soul searching and spent seven days on a spiritual retreat with no phones. He reads, meditates and is doing yoga.
“I have changed in a way that I think will make me better at my job,” Bush said. “I’ve come out of this with a deeper understanding of how women can connect to the feeling of having to fight extra hard for an even playing field.”
The 2005 video shows Trump, who was the star of “The Apprentice,” riding on an “Access Hollywood” bus with then-host Bush. At one point, Trump describes trying to have sex with a married woman. He also brags about women letting him kiss and grab them because he is famous.
“When you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”