FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2014 file photo, Billy Bush arrives at the Operation Smile's 2014 Smile Gala in Beverly Hills, Calif. Bush, who was fired after an old video emerged of him engaging in offensive sex talk with then âApprenticeâ host Donald Trump, says heâs a better man now and ready to get back into television. In an interview posted Sunday, May 21, 2017, Bush told The Hollywood Reporter the past seven months have âbeen a roller coasterâ beginning with saying sorry to his three daughters. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
Bush opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about the infamous “locker room talk” tape involving President Donald Trump that resulted in Bush losing his job at NBC. In the column, he said that he’s seen the tape only three times, once just before it was leaked and twice ahead of the interview with THR.
He admitted that seeing the tape left him feeling “totally and completely gutted.”
“Looking back upon what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic,” he said. “(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.”
Bush also claimed that “plenty of people” knew about the tapes at NBC.
“I was kind of bopping along, and I don’t know if it was God or what that said, ‘OK, you’ve developed. You’re a pretty good guy. Let’s see how you handle this.’ And ka-boom!” he said. “It all comes apart.”
Despite being fired, Bush said he remains in contact with "Today” show co-hosts Matt Lauer and Hoda Kotb. As for his plans for the future, Bush said he is still hoping to get back into TV.
He has been pitching a new series to focus on pop culture, sports and celebrity interviews and said he hopes to show fans his softer, more empathetic side.