In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, former Today show host Billy Bush explained how he addressed the Trump tape scandal with his wife and daughters. You'll probably remember that the 2005 recording involved Trump bragging about grabbing women by their genitals without permission (something he referred to as "locker room talk" and denied ever acting upon) and Bush merely laughing at the problematic comments. The hot mic tape caused huge controversy and resulted in Bush losing his job. Meanwhile, Trump won the presidency.
In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bush spoke at length about the tape scandal both in terms of how he dealt with the situation as it arose as well as about the impact it has had on his life. In particular, he revealed how he discussed the recording with his wife and three daughters and how they reacted.
Bush indicated that his wife, Sydney, was very understanding and "knew the environment and the atmosphere [he] was in at the time, and knows very well the person she married." However, Sydney did characterize the revelation of the tape as "not a good moment."
Bush also revealed that he had a conversation with each of his three daughters, who are ages 18, 15, and 12, about the tape. He reported that Mary, his middle daughter, called him crying and asked why he was laughing at Trump's comments. Bush told The Hollywood Reporter:
... 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. You know me. I am really sorry that you had to hear and see that. I love you.' She needed to hear that, and I certainly needed to tell her that.
It is clear from his interview with The Hollywood Reporter that the tape scandal has humbled Bush and had a profound impact on his perspective. The former Today host stated, "I am not grateful for the moment ... But I'm grateful for what I've gotten out of it. I'm grateful that it hit me all the way to my core."
It is good to see that the leaking of the tape seemingly inspired extensive self reflection in Bush, something which his family certainly helped foster. Hopefully, Bush will approach his next endeavor (supposedly, developing a new series) with an enlightened and better-informed perspective.