Billy Bush, the TV personality caught in a hot-mic audiotape from 2005 failing to challenge Donald Trump’s vulgar language about women, is seeking a negotiated exit from NBC’s “Today” show, The Hollywood Reporter said on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.
What’s more, THR reported, Mr. Bush’s 2005 indiscretion, plus a negative reputation by PR execs behind the scenes, may hurt his career prospects moving forward.
“He was rude and lewd to a few female clients of mine,” THR quoted Marcel Pariseau — a PR professional who represents “high-profile female clients” — from a Facebook post after the tape surfaced.
“There are people who wouldn’t talk to him before the news. At Access [Hollywood], he was always ‘that guy.’ There were people who were anxious about him before he started [on Today],” THR quoted an unnamed “celebrity publicist” familiar with the situation.
Prior to his suspension from the “Today” program, Mr. Bush had planned on an on-air apology, but that option was “scuttled after the show’s predominantly female staff expressed outrage that he would not suffer any consequences,” explained THR.
On Monday, PageSix.com reported that Mr. Bush, a nephew of the first President Bush and first cousin to George W. and Jeb, had bragged about being in possession of the damaging audiotape months ago to coworkers while covering the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.