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Billy Bush really regrets not changing the topic with Trump

(Photo: Getty Images/The Washington Post)

Last month, disgraced Today host Billy Bush emerged from the land of wind and ghosts to sing a little song about how much he wants to get back on TV, and now he has fully opened up to The Hollywood Reporter in his first big interview since getting fired for laughing along with Donald Trump while he casually talked about grabbing women “by the pussy” and being able to do whatever he wants because he’s famous. Trump, of course, is now grabbing globes with the king of Saudi Arabia, and the THR piece finally reveals what Bush has been up to and how he feels about everything that went down.

For starters, Bush says he was “totally and completely gutted” by the tape of him and Trump, and he says he had only listened to it one time before agreeing to the THR interview (he’s listened to it twice since then, though). “Looking back upon what was said on that bus,” Bush says, “I wish I had changed the topic.” Bush knows that Trump only has a few things he likes to talk about, specifically golf and money, but he just “didn’t have the strength of character” to move Trump off of his third favorite topic, grabbing women by the pussy.


Elsewhere in the interview, Bush talks about what it was like explaining the whole situation to his family—he has three daughters—with one calling him from school in tears and asking why he was laughing at the things Trump said when “they weren’t funny.” Another daughter decided to never watch the video or listen to the recording, and he had a “frank conversation” with his wife about how he had to recognize that it was “not a good moment” for him and that he’d have to understand “why people reacted” the way they did.

Unsurprisingly, Bush says that he hasn’t heard anything from Trump since the tape came out, and that he doesn’t know if Trump regrets what he said or if the man currently running the country is still the sort of man who would gleefully brag about how easily he can grab women by the pussy. However, he did reach out to Nancy O’Dell, his former co-host that he and Trump were leering at in the recording, but he says any interactions they’ve had since then are “between me and Nancy.”

As for where he disappeared to after getting fired from Today, Bush says he spent seven days at a private retreat that involved ignoring outside communication and beating pillows with baseball bats, and he attended a Tony Robbins seminar where he walked on coals and was specifically told that “one moment in your life does not define who you are.” After that, he basically went on a big vacation with his family to get away from everything. Now, Bush is developing a new series of some sort that will “show audiences a deeper and more empathetic side” to the former celebrity gossip reporter.

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