The “Today” show’s Billy Bush released a statement on Friday night apologizing for comments he made on a leaked 2005 videotape in which he appears alongside Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump making lewd comments about a woman.
“Obviously, I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry,” Bush said.
The video of Bush and Trump was published by the Washington Post on Friday afternoon. According to the newspaper, it came from a “hot microphone” and was taken when Trump filmed an appearance on “Access Hollywood” about a cameo he made on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”
In the clip, Bush, who hosted “Access Hollywood” at the time, was with Trump onboard a bus emblazoned with the show’s logo. As the bus approached the soap opera’s set, Bush exclaimed that he saw a woman who was “hot as s***” and wearing “purple.” Bush went on to compliment the unknown woman’s “good legs.” Trump said he wanted to prepare to meet her when they disembarked.
“I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful … I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything, grab them by the p****,” Trump said.
After they left the bus, the video showed Bush and Trump being greeted by actress Arianne Zucker, who wore a purple dress. Bush then encouraged Zucker to give Trump a hug.
Bush left “Access Hollywood” for NBC’s “Today” show earlier this year. His statement was released by an NBC spokesperson.
The video also showed Trump discussing his efforts to “try and f***” an unnamed married woman. In a statement of his own, Trump described the comments as “locker room banter” and “a private conversation.”
“I apologize if anyone was offended,” Trump said.