Billy Bush says he's been doing a lot of soul-searching in the months since the release of the infamous Access Hollywood Donald Trump tape—and he's now ready for a TV comeback. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the former Today host describes the "awful" days after leak last fall of the 2005 tape, in which he laughs at Trump's lewd remarks about women. He says when he first heard the recording, he was "shocked and alarmed and totally and completely gutted." He says he was an "insecure person" at the time and his behavior was "almost sycophantic." NBC suspended and then fired Bush after the tape surfaced, and he says it "hurt a lot" when he realized he wasn't going back to Today.
Bush says he wishes he had just changed the subject when Trump starting making vulgar comments. "He liked TV and competition. I could've said, 'Can you believe the ratings on whatever?'" Bush says. "I didn't have the strength of character to do it." Asked how he feels about being fired while the other guy on the tape became president, Bush says "the irony is glaring." But, he says, he has managed to stay positive since then with the help of meditation, group therapy, and walking on hot coals with guru Tony Robbins. Bush says he has enjoyed spending a lot more time with his wife and their three daughters, but he's now working on a comeback that will get him back on TV interviewing people. (Read more Billy Bush stories.)