Donald Trump went on to win the presidency in Nov. of 2016 despite the 2005 audiotape of him telling then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush that he could “grab women by the p***y,” dropping on October 7, 2016, just a month before the election. Billy however was subsequently fired from The Today Show despite joining with much fanfare two months earlier. The 47-year-old host is now revealing that he thought about taking his own life in the aftermath, where his career imploded and he couldn’t find work. “Suicidal thoughts pop into your head,” he tells the Daily Beast.
“I’d never seriously do it—because I have children that matter. But when you’re really low—and this is important to include—you’re emoting at the most extremes,” the father of three daughters continued. “But I’m never ever a serious candidate for that. I would not, could not do that to those who count on me and love me and need me. Absolutely not.”
“But you think, ‘Oh, I would do it!’ No, no you won’t. But you’re upset. Look, everybody has something. Everybody has something that is really, really deeply upsetting. And if you haven’t, you will. That’s for sure. And I may have something again. I hope I’m conditioned to take a deep breath, acknowledge the feelings, and know that they’re not here to stay,” he added.
Billy spent 15 years at Access Hollywood before landing a dream gig with The Today Show, beginning in August 2016. He was being groomed to be a vital part of the morning program and a co-host of the 9am hour when the 2005 audiotape was released with then Apprentice boss Donald Trump joking to a then 33-year-old Billy about how he needed tic tacs ahead of a cameo appearance on Days of Our Lives with star Arianne Zucker. “Just in case I start kissing her…When you’re a star, they let you do it.” “Whatever you want,” Bush agreed. “Grab ‘em by the pussy, You can do anything,” Trump added as everyone on the crew seemed to laugh along. Billy appeared to play along, saying “Sheesh, your girl’s hot as sh*t!” when he saw Arianne, adding “Yes! The Donald has scored!”
Billy was immediately fired by NBC and has spent three years in television joblessness before finally landing a gig to host a revamped Extra that is launching on Fox stations on Sept. 9. “I was at a moment this past Christmas where I was feeling quite lost and abandoned,” he said. “Kinda like ‘Where’s my industry? Where’s my life? What am I doing here?” he tells the Daily Beast. “It was Christmas Eve. And I ended up reading a book called The Purpose of Christmas by [megachurch pastor] Rick Warren. And I felt this unbelievably overpowering presence come over me. And it took me from the deepest feelings of despair to a warm glow of everything’s gonna be just fine. A very powerful moment. And I won’t forget it.”