Mutiny on th

Billy Bush’s col­leagues re­fused to work with him as his bosses failed in a cover-up at­tempt. The real story be­hind the tape scan­dal

In Touch (USA) - - Crisis news -

Billy Bush was egging him on. As Don­ald Trump boasted about hit­ting on a mar­ried star — later re­vealed to be TV host Nancy O’dell — then de­scribed in vul­gar terms how he felt en­ti­tled to grope (or as­sault) women, the Ac­cess Hol­ly­wood turned Today show host chuck­led and added his own sex­ist commentary while they rode a bus to the Days of Our Lives set. Sec­onds later, the pair cor­dially greeted ac­tress Arianne Zucker, seem­ingly con- vinced that no one would ever know that they had just been crudely ob­jec­ti­fy­ing her and other women.

They were wrong. Don­ald and Billy’s 2005 lewd ex­change — caught on an Ac­cess hot mic — was leaked to The Wash­ing­ton Post on Oct. 7. Hours later, Today’s fe­male staffers launched a mutiny, de­mand­ing Billy be fired, In Touch has ex­clu­sively learned. “As dis­gust­ing as Don­ald’s com­ments were, Billy’s goad­ing and laugh­ing is equally of­fen­sive,” says a net­work in­sider. “Billy’s en­cour- ag­ing the ac­tress to hug Don­ald is beyond words. The mostly fe­male Today staff and even top pro­duc­ers told bosses they would refuse to work when Billy was on set.”

His co-hosts were out­raged as well. Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Tam­ron Hall threat­ened to walk out if Billy, 44, “was sim­ply al­lowed to re­turn to work with no dis­ci­pline or in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” says the net­work in­sider, adding that since re­plac­ing Wil­lie Geist in the show’s third hour in Au­gust,

THEIR PREY Be­fore greet­ing soap ac­tress Arianne Zucker, Billy ogled her legs and mints Don­ald warned he needed breath “just in case I start kiss­ing her.” BE­HIND HER BACK Billy laughed when Don­ald told him he once tried to “f--- her, she was mar­ried,” refe

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