Turns out, he was always a jerk.
“Today” show co-host Billy Bush, who co-starred with Donald Trump in a lewd bombshell video, has long had a history of being a bully, the Daily News has learned.
“I was kind of a huge nerd,” recalls Katherine Fredland Richardson. She rode the 86th St. crosstown bus with a young Bush, the nephew of future President George H.W. Bush, back in the ’80s. She was on her way to middle school at Brearly, a posh girls’ school, and he was going to the equally tony, all-boys St. Bernard’s.
“I was skinny, I was awkward, shy, and my clothes weren’t cool. And he was the kind of kid who could smell that weakness — and he would zero in,” Richardson says.
A hot-mic tape of Billy Bush and the GOP candidate surfaced, featuring the candiadate boasting about his penchant for sexual assault and then-“Access Hollywood” star gleefully egging him on.
“I have vivid memories of being on the bus, seeing him get on with his little pack of buddies, and just thinking to myself, ‘Oh, no — maybe he won’t notice me.’ And he did.”
Richardson, 46, recalls that “he would make fun of my clothes, he may have called me ugly or unattractive or nerdy. It was just generally disparaging comments.”
And while Bush’s specific taunts escape her, she’ll never forget his tone — “mocking” and “derisive” — or the time she fought back.
Katherine Fredland Richardson said Billy Bush made middle school miserable when he taunted her on bus.
“One time I stood up for myself and I said, ‘Why don’t you just leave me alone?’ And he goes, ‘Do you know who my uncle is?’” Richardson is still incredulous and slightly appalled that as she says, he “played the my-uncle-is-the-vice-president card.” (Also, no, she didn’t; she was 12.)
Bush, 44, got caught in the roiling wake of Donald Trump last week, when a hot-mic tape of him and the GOP candidate surfaced, featuring the contender boasting about his penchant for sexual assault and then-“Access Hollywood” star gleefully egging him on. Bush, who’d just landed a plum co-host spot on NBC’s “Today” show in May, was suspended.
When the p—y tape story broke, Richardson posted her recollection on Facebook and “it blew up.” What’s more, she’s also heard from others who’ve had similar Bush experiences. Still, Richardson says, “this is not something I’ve dwelled on.”
James Spader in a scene from the movie "Pretty in Pink".
Now practicing family law and living in New Jersey with her family, Richardson says, “I didn’t post in my capacity as an attorney — I posted in my capacity as a human being.”
“He’s Blaine!” she says, referring to the James Spader character in the John Hughes classic “Pretty in Pink.” “I’m not calling Billy Bush evil,” she says. “I think he’s flawed and a bully.”