NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – For the first time since Billy Bush lost his job as a “The Today Show” co-host over a leaked 2005 Access Hollywood tape he’s now opened up about it.
On the tape, Bush is interviewing Donald Trump who begins bragging about how he can kiss and grope woman as he pleases.
In an exclusive interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Bush said he’s watched the tape three times and it left him “totally and completely gutted” and he wished he would have changed the subject at the time.
Bush said the toughest part of the Trump tape is that he had to explain to his teenage daughter why he was laughing at the things Trump said on the tape. Bush also says he didn’t have a good answer for her.
“It hit really hard, and I stopped for a second, and I said, ‘I have no answer for that that’s any good. I am really sorry. That was Dad in a bad moment a long time ago,” Bush said.
President Trump downplayed the furor that erupted after the tape aired, saying it was nothing more than “locker room banter.”
Bush knew for 11 years the tape existed but didn’t think it would ever go public. When it first hit the airwaves, he said he thought he could survive the scandal. It didn’t take long for him to figure out that was not the case.
Saying he’s a better person now, Bush wants to return to television with a new series he’s been developing.
He said he went through a lot of soul searching and spent seven days on a spiritual retreat with no phones. He reads, meditates and is doing yoga.
“I have changed in a way that I think will make me better at my job,” Bush said. “I’ve come out of this with a deeper understanding of how women can connect to the feeling of having to fight extra hard for an even playing field.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)