Billy Bush Reveals How His Teenage Daughter Called Him Out For His Conversation With Trump

Some criticism hit close to home.

Billy Bush received quite a bit of backlash for his involvement in a leaked 2005 recording of Donald Trump bragging about groping women. Bush, who was hosting Access Hollywood at the time, laughed along and encouraged Trump's comments, even joining in to remark on the appearance of actress Arianne Zucker, whom they were meeting to film a segment. When the tape was released in October 2016, Bush even lost his job at NBC's Today over it.

But one source of criticism hit especially close to home — his teenage daughter Mary.


Bush recently opened up about the aftermath of the tape's release in new interviews with The Hollywood Reporter and ABC's Robin Roberts. In both conversations, he shares how his three daughters reacted to the news. While his youngest daughter didn't watch the video and his oldest was more defensive of him, his middle daughter, now 16, called him from boarding school in tears and confronted him about the recording.

"I said, 'Everything is going to be fine, Mary. Everything's going to be OK.' It's just instinctively what you say to your daughter," Bush told THR. "And she said, 'No, why were you laughing at the things that he was saying on that bus, Dad? They weren't funny.'"

"It hit really hard," Bush continued, "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."

Social media users praised Mary for her willingness to call her father out for his behavior.

Bush told THR he now wishes he had chosen to change the subject with Trump. "I didn't have the strength of character to do it," he admitted, and said he has since considered how women must have viewed the tape, "asking themselves, 'Is that what happens when I walk out of a room?'"

"If a moment like that arose again, I would shut it down quickly," Bush said. "I am in the women-raising business, exclusively. I have three daughters — Mary, Lillie, Josie — and I care very much about the world and the people they encounter."

Of course, as the Huffington Post and others point out, men shouldn't have to be fathers to respect women, and while his daughter's response is admirable, it shouldn't have taken their conversation for Bush to understand and acknowledge just how troubling his actions were.


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