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For Billy Bush, Losing His Cushy NBC Job Was the ‘Ultimate Degradation’

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It was the unknowingly recorded tape heard around the world: Billy Bush, during his Access Hollywood years, condoned sexual assault while Donald Trump talked at length about how if you “grab” women “by the pussy, you can do anything.” Bush’s involvement in the 2005 tape eventually led to him getting fired from his enviable position at NBC and Today, the circumstances of which Bush now describes as extremely humiliating and emasculating. “I was ashamed and embarrassed,” Bush told People about this “Trump tape” scandal. “And then I went through stages of grieving because I lost my career. For a man, that’s the ultimate degradation.” He now realizes, though, the significance of how he reacted — or rather, how he didn’t react — on that fateful bus ride with Trump. “There is a term for what I did. It’s called bystander abuse,” he continued. “It says by not doing anything you are endorsing the moment. I have to live with that.”

As for Bush’s career, he’s been laying very low since the tape surfaced in late 2016. Recently, he chose to pen an op-ed in the New York Times to confirm the tape was indeed real, after Trump reportedly began spectacularly to deny the tape’s existence to his peers.

For Billy Bush, Losing His Job Was ‘Ultimate Degradation’