Billy Bush has hired a crisis management team and is considering a lawsuit against NBC as he digs in his heels in the wake of a damaging behind-the-scenes “Access Hollywood” tape published by The Washington Post.
“While NBC bids to ax him over a ‘morality clause’ in his contract, he is blaming NBC for the leak of the tape to The Washington Post, and may even sue,” The New York Post’s Page Six reports. “It is believed someone at NBC News leaked the tape to make it public ahead of the debate, because of frustrations that ‘Access Hollywood’ had planned to air it the following Monday.”
As we reported previously, Page Six published a story saying Bush bragged about the tape to his NBC colleagues while Bush was in Rio to cover the Olympics for the network. The tape contains crude remarks about women made during a conversation between Bush and Donald Trump.
“Now there is an internal investigation at NBC to find out exactly who knew about the tape after Rio,” Page Six reports.
The new Page Six report quotes a source close to Bush saying: “He told people at NBC about this tape. What if there was a transcript of the tape, and high-level discussions about when to release it? Which executives were involved, and why did they decide to suppress the tape until October, when they could have aired it in August? Was it an oversight or a strategic decision by NBC to affect the race? Billy was far from the only person at NBC who was talking about the contents of this tape. On-air talent does not make the decision when to air stories like this.”
Bush is reportedly getting the boot from NBC News, and it’s only a matter of when the announcement comes down, as we reported previously.
Meanwhile, Bush, the nephew of former President George H.W. Bush, has hired the New York-based PR firm Goldin Solutions, run by David Goldin, to manage the crisis, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Goldin, whose entertainment and media clients have included Cablevision, Gawker Media, Time Inc. and streaming music service Rdio before its sale to Pandora, has a background in television news, including serving several years as a top executive at MSNBC,” THR notes.