Billy Bush Regrets Not Having The ‘Strength Of Character’ To Push Back On Trump’s Lewd Hot-Mic Remarks

Billy Bush has entered his redemption phase. That’s an unusual sentence to behold, but Bush’s career was sent into a tailspin last October after Trump’s 2005 hot-mic Access Hollywood remarks leaked. Both men apologized, and Trump became president after Billy was fired by NBC one week following the tape’s release. There were rumors that Bush would join Breitbart, but that didn’t happen. Now, he’s seeking forgiveness through the Hollywood Reporter.

To briefly recap, the tape featured Bush hooting and hollering while Trump said stuff like “I moved on her like a b*tch.” And by the time Trump said being famous lets him “grab them by the p*ssy,” it appeared obvious that Bush appreciated what Trump said, but now, he’s singing a less peacock-y tune. Before the clip was released, NBC execs knew about it, and the Washington Post scooped them while they waited on legal advice. Bush may have even tipped off NBC by bragging to colleagues about the tape, but he tells the Hollywood Reporter that he was actually mortified:

“With Donald, there wasn’t much interaction. He sort of talks and performs, and everybody reacts. And the topics were usually golf, gossip or women. And boy, do I wish this was a golf day. But I always had a nervous energy through these situations because he also decided a lot of times from day to day, moment to moment, who he liked, who was in and who was out, and my job was to remain in. I needed to be in, or maybe I’d be out.

“So that was the Trump environment. Looking back on what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic. I wish I had said: ‘Does anyone want water?’ or ‘It looks like it’s gonna rain.’ He liked TV and competition. I could’ve said, ‘Can you believe the ratings on whatever?’ I didn’t have the strength of character to do it.”

Bush also talks about how hard it was to disappoint his daughters by losing his job and claims to have since had a “spiritual awakening.” Friends and family come forward to defend him over the course of the interview, and some of them feel that he was scapegoated because his family has been chronically at odds with Trump. Bizarrely, Melania Trump blamed Bush for encouraging her husband’s remarks, but Bush says he’s been “completely gutted” each of the three times he’s watched the tape.

While Bush seemed to enjoy himself a lot while Trump bragged about actions that amounted to sexual assault, he now regrets ever speaking with Trump and insists they don’t and have never had a “personal relationship.” The way Bush paints it, he was simply trying to stay employed by making Trump like him. Bush wasn’t without fault while cheering on Trump’s lewd comments, but he’s certainly the only one who’s paid for them.

(Via Hollywood Reporter)