Billy Bush's official status at Today is still "suspended" as far as we know, though there are certainly plenty of signs that he's gone for good. But on Thursday, the former Access Hollywood host gave the first indication that he's fighting back. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bush has hired attorney Marshall Grossman to help negotiate his exit from NBC. Bush continues to face fallout after last week's release of a 2005 recording that finds him laughing along with Donald Trump's lewd remarks about grabbing women without their consent. Grossman, who has not yet responded to request for comment from Refinery29, has a fierce reputation, having represented such high-profile clients as Steven Spielberg and Enron accounting firm Arthur Andersen. While Grossman didn't disclose specifics to THR about the status of Bush's negotiations, he did express his opinion on the matter. Both Access Hollywood and The Apprentice are NBC shows, so he argues that Bush's hands were tied. "If Billy had been passive or responded 'Shut the fuck up' to Trump, Billy would have been out of a job the next day," Grossman told the trade paper.
That does not, however, explain why Bush asked actress Arianne Zucker to hug Trump, just moments after the latter bragged that he might kiss her against her will. "Let me be clear — there is simply no excuse for Billy's language and behavior on that tape," Today producer Noah Oppenheim wrote in an internal memo on Sunday, according to CNN. "NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter." Representatives for NBC have not yet responded to requests for comment, and Bush's publicist said the former host had no comment.