May 22 (UPI) -- Billy Bush says that his 16-year-old daughter Mary was hurt by the recorded conversation he had with President Donald Trump in 2005 that featured insensitive remarks about groping women.
"There was a powerful moment -- my now 16-year-old daughter called me ... and she was in tears," Bush said to Robin Roberts on Good Morning America Monday, his first television interview since the tape was leaked in October.
"She was really upset, and I said, 'Mary, it's, it's going to be OK. You know, don't worry,'" Bush said. "And she said, 'No. Why were you laughing at the things that he was saying on that bus? Why were you playing along with it, Dad? It wasn't funny.' I said, 'Mary, I am sorry. And there is no good answer for that.'"
Bush landed in hot water with NBC and was removed from Today for his part in the audio recording as the 45-year-old can be heard laughing at Trump's remarks about groping women because he's "a star" and about how he tried to have an affair with a married woman.
"Obviously I'm embarrassed and ashamed. It's no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago," Bush said shortly after the tape was released. "I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I'm very sorry." Trump would apologize for the vulgar remarks and stated during the second presidential debate that the conversation he had with Bush was "locker room talk."
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bush described how it felt to be let go from Today following the tape's release.
"I thought that we would work through it and we would address people. I put together an apology right away, the one you saw; I told people that I was ashamed and embarrassed. And I was. So in the beginning, I thought, "OK, we'll go and own up to this moment." Then I got home, and it started to become apparent that [I] would not be returning [to Today]. It hurt a lot, and I fell apart. But I had to put aside those feelings and get through legal things. I never had a legal team; I had never had a publicist before," the former Access Hollywood host said.
When asked how he feels about Trump becoming president while he was fired, Bush replied, "I will admit the irony is glaring. [Trump] has his process for his participation [in the tape], and I have mine. I had to turn this into a positive."
"I've come out of this with a deeper understanding of how women can connect to the feeling of having to fight extra hard for an even playing field. The ground isn't even. Maybe it's improving, but still it isn't even. When a woman watches that tape -- and this is what really hit me -- they may be asking themselves, "Is that what happens when I walk out of a room? When I walk out of a meeting, is that what they're saying about me? Are they sizing me up?" I can't live with that. If a moment like that arose again, I would shut it down quickly. 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," he continued.