Billy Bush and wife Sydney Davis are getting a divorce, and the infamous “Trump Tape” released last year may have played a significant role in the split.
On Tuesday, the New York Post reported that the former Today show host was splitting with his wife after close to 20 yeas of marriage. Bush’s lawyer, Marshall Grossman, confirmed the split in a statement to the newspaper’s Page Six, but did not elaborate on the details other than to say it was not caused by infidelity.
But others close to the couple say that the “Trump Tape” had a significant impact on the couple. In the audio, recorded in 2005 and released in the late stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump could be heard bragging to Bush about pursuing a married woman and appearing to admit to sexually assaulting women.
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the p***y,” Trump could be heard saying.
In the audio, Billy Bush appeared to encourage the talk and then suggested soap opera star Arianne Zucker give Trump a hug. Bush was fired from his post at the Today show after the tape’s release, while Trump recovered and went on to win the presidency.
Though Billy Bush appeared to sound enthusiastic on the tape, he later expressed regret for entertaining the conversation with Trump.
“Looking back upon what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic,” Bush said (via The Hollywood Reporter). “[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.”
— E! News (@enews) September 19, 2017
— deathandtaxes (@DeathAndTaxes) September 19, 2017
At the time the video leaked, a source close to Billy Bush told Page Six that Sydney Davis was “furious” after the release of the Trump Tape and gave her husband the silent treatment for a while.
“She was so furious that she refused to speak with him for a while — and she’s still furious. They are having marriage problems. He didn’t apologize to her for the embarrassment he caused in his statement,” the source said after the tape was released.
Melania Trump had a different reaction, at least publicly. After the tape’s release, she issued a statement that criticized her husband but ultimately defended him, calling it “locker room talk” that was ultimately harmless.
A representative for Billy Bush confirmed the divorce to Page Six but said it was not true that Sydney Davis left him, noting that they were just “separated for the moment to evaluate their life together.”
[Featured Image by David Livingston/Getty Images]