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Billy Bush Opens up About Life After His 'Today' Firing: "I Had Some Growing up to Do"

More than a year after his Today show firing, Billy Bush is opening up about his scandalous exit from the daytime program and how he's getting on with his life today. "I was ashamed and embarrassed. And then I went through stages of grieving because I lost my career. For a man, that’s the ultimate degradation," the 46-year-old star recently told People. "I have my dark moments. But I’ve learned to embrace them. I’m grateful to be a more conscientious person. And I walk again with a spring in my step."

Billy was fired from Today in October 2016 following the surprise public release of an Access Hollywood tape of now-President Donald Trump and the journalist making lewd comments during a 2005 interview. "[Watching that video left me] totally and completely gutted. Looking back upon what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic," he said in a previous interview. "[Donald] liked TV and competition. I could’ve said, 'Can you believe the ratings on whatever?' But I didn’t have the strength of character to do it."

Since being let go from NBC, Billy has been trying to rebuild his personal life and his TV career. "I have done so much self-help work," he told People, adding that reading the Bible and meditating has helped him through this tough time. "There is a term for what I did. It’s called bystander abuse. It says by not doing anything you are endorsing the moment. I have to live with that."

"I have a plan to make this mess my message. I know I’m coming out with a purpose. And I want to use what I know to help other people," Billy continued. "I had some growing up to do anyway in life. I did so much exploring and figuring out. I’m a deeper person. And I’m happy about using my knowledge for a good purpose."

A few months ago, Billy similarly spoke out about his Today firing in another interview with People. "I was kind of bopping along, and I don’t know if it was God or what that said, 'OK, you’ve developed. You’re a pretty good guy. Let’s see how you handle this.' And ka-boom! It all comes apart. At the time, the father-of-three admitted he still has no idea who leaked the tape of him and Donald but "would have welcomed addressing the [Today] audience," before he was let go from the show.

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