Billy Bush is trying to win back the hearts of fans AND those in the industry who’ve blacklisted him.
The seasoned TV personality made this abundantly clear during his Monday night appearance on Stephen Colbert‘s The Late Show. In fact, this sit down with Colbert came a mere day after Bush put Donald Trump on blast for allegedly questioning the authenticity of the Access Hollywood tape.
In case you forgot, the 46-year-old was axed from NBC after he was heard participating in a lewd conversation with the Trumpster in a tape from ’05. While the convo essentially ruined Billy’s life, it didn’t stop Donald from becoming President of the United States.
Thus, Bush was rightfully infuriated by POTUS’s alleged claim that the tape was “fake news.” On why he’s decided to come forward NOW, Billy told Stephen:
“Last week, [Trump] for some reason came out with, ├óΓé¼╦£That’s not my voice on the tape.’ Like I said, you can’t say that. That is your voice, I was there, you were there, that’s your voice on the tape.’ …
So when he said this, it infuriated me on the personal front and then I ended up Googling and I read an article with all of these women’s accounts, because when that article first came out, it was 13 days after I had been fired, so I was in my own personal shock, fight or flight. And so I never really read it all the way. And as I read these, I said, ├óΓé¼╦£Twenty women don’t get together and say, ├óΓé¼╦£Hey, do you know what would be really fun? Let’s take down a powerful guy together. Haha!’ No, they don’t… And I said, ├óΓé¼╦£Okay, you’re reopening wounds on them too. Enough’s enough. Stop playing around with people’s lives!’ That upset me. So I wrote [the op-ed].”
We love seeing a politically woke Billy. Not to mention, Bush isn’t hiding away from his own unsavory participation in the controversy. In regards to how he reacted when the tape first resurfaced, the Today alum said watching it was like a “gut punch” and originally equated Donald’s words to a “crass stand-up act.”
Understandably, after time and reflection, Bush feels entirely different. He noted:
“If I had thought there was a man detailing a sexual assault strategy to me, I would’ve called the FBI, not just reported it to my executive producer. That was it for me. ├óΓé¼┬ª Everybody sort of had to kiss the ring of the Donald because he was making so much money for NBC.”
Bush went on to tell Colbert that he feels like he “sacrificed” a little bit of his soul by participating in the conversation and took time to do some self-introspection following the tape’s release. Bush shared:
“It’s unbelievable irony. The very day he was swearing in as the 45th president of the United States, I was checking in to this soul-searching retreat in St. Helena, California. Nine days off the grid, no phone, you had to check-in your phone… It was the beginning of me saying, ├óΓé¼╦£Alright get up. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop worrying of all these things, there’s life to live. Let’s go. Get better. Be a better man, be a better person.'”
And it appears that some of the higher ups at NBC regret Billy’s firing — and Matt Lauer even defended him. Unfortunately, Lauer’s opinion doesn’t mean much these days as he’s in the middle of a sexual misconduct scandal. Billy relayed:
“My boss, months later, said publicly we may have moved a little quickly. [Matt and I] had a conversation about that. He told me that he went privately to the bosses ├óΓé¼┬ª I said, ├óΓé¼╦£I appreciated it,’ and accepted it and thanked him.”
Man, oh man. Regardless, the main thing Billy’s learned from this whole experience is that “women must be believed.” Well said.
Be sure to ch-ch-check out Mr. Bush’s first late-night appearance following his fall from grace (below).