Former NBC host Billy Bush admitted recently he went through a season of deep despair following the release of the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he had a very inappropriate and sexually vulgar conversation with then-celebrity personality Donald Trump.
During an interview with The Daily Beast, Bush said he even contemplated suicide after losing his job as a host on NBC’s “Today” show.
“Suicidal thoughts pop into your head,” he told the outlet. “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 extreme.”
While Bush clarified he was “never ever a serious candidate” for suicide, he emphasized the fact he was having those kinds of thoughts.
Regardless, his depressed situation sent him down a spiral, resulting in heavy drinking. Bush felt “lost and abandoned” as recently as Christmas of last year. But all that changed when he came across a book written by Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.
The 47-year-old TV personality recalled reading Warren’s “The Purpose of Christmas” on Christmas Eve last year.
“I felt this unbelievably overpowering presence come over me,” Bush remembered. “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.”
In the 2005 recording, Bush laughed when Trump suggested he “can do anything” to women — including grab their genitals without consent — because he is a famous celebrity.
At the time the tape came out in 2016, during the heat of the presidential election, Bush said he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed.”
“It’s no excuse,” he said then, “but this happened 11 years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along.”
Bush was fired by NBC shortly thereafter. Then, in July 2018, Bush’s wife, Sydney Davis, filed for divorce, ending the couple’s 20-year marriage. They had separated in September 2017, nearly one year after the “Access Hollywood” audio recording first made headlines.
Around that time, Bush described his life as “chaos.” Things are starting to look up for him, though. Bush is now the anchor and managing editor of “Extra” on Fox. The new season is scheduled to debut Monday.