Billy Bush, a longtime entertainment media correspondent and relative of two former presidents, became a surprisingly pivotal part of American political history in late 2016 when a recording from 2005 surfaced in which then-candidate Donald Trump could be heard bragging to Bush about nonconsensual grabbing of women. Bush, throughout the tape, laughed and played along with Trump’s comments, including the future president’s description of his attempt to sleep with Nancy O’Dell, who at the time was Bush’s co-host.
While Trump was elected president of the United States weeks later, the other person on the tape, Bush, was fired from his position with NBC News, where he had recently begun a new job with the Today show. Bush hasn’t worked in media since, although he has surfaced for the occasional interview.
Now, nearly three years after his name became synonymous with “The Billy Bush Tape,” Bush is heading back to work. Bush is joining Extra Extra, a new version of the long-running Extra program, per People. The old version of Extra was syndicated, while Extra Extra will air on Fox stations starting in September.
The 47-year-old Bush, who was President George H.W. Bush’s nephew and George W. Bush’s first cousin, has spent most of his career in television and radio.
Bush told People that after he was fired, he “went through resentment, anger and being inconsolable” before he ultimately got a pep talk from his cousin, the 43rd president. George W. Bush told Billy to “just live and accept the fact that you’re not extraordinary,” he told the magazine. The Bush family and Trump have long had enmity, going back to when Trump and Jeb Bush ran against each other, although the president did attend George H.W. Bush’s funeral last year.
While Trump admitted in 2016 that the tape was real, he defended the remarks as “locker room talk” and issued a rare public apology. The New York Times reported in late 2017 that the president had begun telling associates that it was not, in fact, his voice on the tape. This led Billy Bush to write an op-ed, also in The Times, with the headline “Yes, Donald Trump, You Said That.”
“I had the opportunity to grow up a little bit,” Bush told People. “Facing adversity in some way is good. And I feel I’ll be better at my job than I ever was. This is my next step.”
During his time off, Bush and his wife separated, and he was hospitalized after he was hit in the head with a golf ball, per Us Weekly.