Billy Bush has revealed new details about the sexist Access Hollywood conversation with Donald Trump that rocked the latter’s presidential campaign last year.
Billy Bush broke his silence about the infamous conversation with Trump in 2005, the tape of which leaked last October and cost Bush his job and resulted in enormous tensions between the TV host and his Access Hollywood co-host Nancy O’Dell.
President Trump came under fire when the tape revealed him saying sexually aggressive remarks about women in his off-camera conversation with Billy Bush. The scandal resulted in 12 different women coming forward with accusations that Trump sexually assaulted them.
President Trump immediately issued an apology after the infamous tape leaked, downplaying his conversation with Billy Bush as “locker room banter.”
Billy Bush, meanwhile, has remained silent on the matter until now. Speaking to Robin Roberts as part of Tuesday’s Good Morning America episode, the former Access Hollywood host claims he didn’t take President Trump‘s “grab them by the p***y” comments seriously, according to People.
Calling Trump’s infamous sexist remarks about women as nothing but “braggadocio” (the word that Trump oftentimes uses, mostly in the incorrect form “braggadocious”) and “performance,” Billy Bush insists that he would have called the FBI if Trump actually confessed to him that he had assaulted women.
Billy Bush, who says he has spent the past seven months soul-searching, practicing yoga, and mindfulness, is also breaking his silence on the controversial tape featuring Trump’s sexist remarks in an interview in the Hollywood Reporter’s May 24 issue.
While Billy Bush apologizes for the incident and admits that he agrees with his firing in the wake of the tape leak, the TV host stresses that he was “keeping the ball in the air” during the conversation with Trump and says that he “added to the conversation.”
Billy Bush has faced a great amount of criticism after the tape leaked, with many throwing mud at the former Access Hollywood host for patting Trump on the back for his sexism and even encouraging the then-Apprentice star to give a hug to soap opera star Arianne Zucker, despite hearing Trump bragging about assaulting women just moments earlier.
But Billy Bush apparently realizes that he made a mistake or two during that infamous off-camera conversation with Trump. Many of Bush’s critics lashed out at the former Access Hollywood host for not stopping Trump at the time, but he says he could not have stopped Trump even if we wanted to, as he lacked “the strength of character” at the time.
Billy Bush just wishes that when Trump started bragging about sexual assault, he'd had the "strength of character" to ... change the subject pic.twitter.com/hd27n3ZwJV— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) May 22, 2017
Billy Bush explains that although he was in his 30s at the time, he was inexperienced and insecure during his conversation with Trump, calling himself “a pleaser.”
“I kind of remember wanting these celebrities to like me so I could keep going on with this job.”
Billy Bush also says that he “sacrificed” his own “dignity” during his infamous conversation with Trump in 2005. Bush, however, claims that he’s changed dramatically since then and was “very pleased to say goodbye” to the old version of himself.
While Billy Bush calls his 2005 self “a pleaser,” he certainly didn’t please his former Access Hollywood co-host Nancy O’Dell when he and Trump discussed O’Dell’s “big phony t*ts,” “taking her furniture shopping,” and “moving on her like a b***h.”
But Nancy O’Dell holds no grudge against Billy Bush, as the Entertainment Tonight host said on Monday night’s show that Bush had actually reached out to her “about three weeks ago by email” to offer his “really nice apology.”
And Nancy O’Dell says she “appreciated very much” the apology, adding that she and Billy Bush worked together for “many years” and saying that she wishes him “the best moving forward.”
[Featured Image by Craig Barritt/Getty Images]