One of the more head-scratching things to come out of last months (and that’s saying a lot, since 2017 has most hair follicles hanging on for dear life) was Donald Trump’s claim that the tape of him bragging about grabbing pussies during a 2005 interview with Access Hollywood was fake. Well, Trump’s enthusiastic co-star in the tape, Billy Bush, wrote an op-ed piece for The New York Times in which he informed Trump that the voice on the tape is his.
Billy’s op-ed might technically be classified an ap-ed, because it reads like an extended apology. That tape is very real, and Billy is sorry for it! According to Billy, seven other men were present while Trump joked about grabbing women’s crotches with his miniature claw machine hands. Billy says they didn’t think he was being “real,” and that they all assumed they were listening to Trump’s version of a stand-up bit. But that changed when numerous women came forward with accusations of sexual harassment and assault against Trump.
Billy re-tells some of those allegations in his piece. He says the women who came forward didn’t receive nearly enough attention. He also believes that Trump’s denial of the Access Hollywood tape has no doubt “reopened wounds” for them.
As for Billy chuckling along with Trump’s gross tales (or if you’re Melania, leading her poor husband down a peer pressure path), he knows how active he was during the interview. He says part of what got him bumped up to co-anchor of Access Hollywood was the “rapport” he established with people like Trump during his years as a correspondent. Billy had been friendly with Trump several times before he interviewed him in 2005, so he was just being friendly again. Billy also says Trump was the biggest star at the time, with The Apprentice, so he was going with the flow. Billy says he was acting in his own self-interests, and it sounds like he kind of regrets that now.
“Was I acting out of self-interest? You bet I was. Was I alone? Far from it. With Mr. Trump’s outsized viewership back in 2005, everybody from Billy Bush on up to the top brass on the 52nd floor had to stroke the ego of the big cash cow along the way to higher earnings.
None of us were guilty of knowingly enabling our future president. But all of us were guilty of sacrificing a bit of ourselves in the name of success.”
And how has Billy Bush been doing? After the Access Hollywood tape was leaked, he was fired by NBC. He’s been out of work for over a year; but don’t cry for Billy Bush – he’s doing great.
“This last year has been an odyssey, the likes of which I hope to never face again: anger, anxiety, betrayal, humiliation, many selfish but, I hope, understandable emotions. But these have given way to light, both spiritual and intellectual. It’s been fortifying.
I know that I don’t need the accouterments of fame to know God and be happy. After everything over the last year, I think I’m a better man and father to my three teenage daughters – far from perfect, but better.”
It sounds like Billy has a real close relationship with God now. That might explain why Billy was recently hit in the head with a golf ball. That was just God’s way of getting Billy’s attention to inform him that he hasn’t done nearly enough to repent for his sins of LOL-ing at Trump’s creep behavior. “Billy, if you don’t get to writing a seriously long apology, I’m going to send down something much heavier than a golf ball next time.”