Billy Bush Speaks Out About Trump's ‘Access Hollywood' Tape: “I Am Ashamed”
It's been nearly 8 months since the controversial Access Hollywood tape was released that publicized Donald Trump's horrific “grab them by the pussy” quote.
The audio and video recordings obtained by the Washington Post in October 2016 show now-president Donald Trump boasting about trying to have sex with women, claiming he can grab them “by the pussy” because he's a “star.”
The clips were documented while Trump and Billy Bush of Access Hollywood were on a tour bus in 2005 on their way to the set of Days of Our Lives to film a segment about Trump's upcoming cameo on the show.
After the clip went viral, Donald Trump became President of the United States and Billy Bush was suspended from the Today show. It took a while, but Bush finally spoke about the surfaced recordings during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Although he is “ashamed” of his involvement with the tape, he seems to be facing his mistake in an optimistic light. He said, “I am not grateful for the moment, but I'm grateful for what I've gotten out of it. I'm grateful that it hit me all the way to my core.”
Although Bush claims he's ready to start working again, he also admitted during the interview that he wished he changed the subject on the tour bus that day. He said,
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.
Unfortunately, he didn't — and was suspended from continuing work as a host on the Today show the following Monday morning (the tape was released on a Friday).
However, if he was allowed to appear on the show and given the opportunity to issue and apology, he would have said this:
I am deeply embarrassed. I sit before you every morning, and I have on a different show [Access Hollywood Live] many mornings, and I hope you know the person you're looking at and have developed an opinion about is [the real me]. You aren't wrong about that.
I am ashamed. Going forward, you can be sure that I will not participate in anything like that. And I will keep my eyes out and do what I can to stop it from happening.
Bush also admitted he is very concerned about women's reactions when they watch the tape — including his three daughters: Mary, Lillie, and Josie.
When a woman watches that tape — and this is what really hit me — they may be asking themselves, ‘Is that what happens when I walk out of a room? When I walk out of a meeting, is that what they're saying about me? Are they sizing me up?'
I can't live with that. If a moment like that arose again, I would shut it down quickly. I am in the women-raising business, exclusively.
While Bush seems to have learned from the gross conversation he has with Donald Trump, he did admit that it's ironic he was fired from his job and Trump became the president.
He said, “I will admit the irony is glaring.”
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