Billy Bush Says Matt Lauer Texted Him for Self-Help Book Recommendations After 'Today' Firing

It's been nearly two full months since Matt Lauer was ousted from the Today show, and now his former colleague Billy Bush says that the disgraced host has texted him for self-help book recommendations.

Speaking to PEOPLE, Bush revealed that Lauer recently reached out to him.

"He texted me and asked about some of the self-help books I've been reading. I told him, 'Start here,' " Bush said.

Bush also explained that he took no joy in Lauer's firing, which went down in November when allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against the host.

"Maybe at one point there was part of me that [felt like] if someone else got [in trouble], I would be like, 'Now who's the bad guy?' " Bush confessed. "But I took zero pleasure in it. And I'm grateful for that. Let those who transgressed be held accountable. I felt for the women involved and for his wife."

Bush was fired from Today in 2016 after audio of him and Donald Trump came out where the former Apprentice boss made some controversial statements and Bush laughed along with him.

That event sent Bush on path that saw his marriage endure struggles, but recent reports indicate that he and his wife are attempting to work things out.

"They are trying to reconcile and it seems like they're making progress. They're working on it," a source close to the couple told Page Six.

Back in Sept. the couple announced they were separating, and Bush was even seen just this month holding hands with Tara Bernie, one of his former Access Hollywood colleagues.

However, Bernie denied the ensuing dating rumors.

"We're friends. I was his producer for 15 years at Access. He was walking me to get my Uber," she told journalists.

While Bush was effectively let go from Today after his involvement in the lewd conversation between himself and Trump, he was at one time considered the most likely candidate to take over when Lauer eventually exited.

However, insiders reported that during his 20-year reign as "the golden boy of NBC" Lauer made sure that potential replacements never got a chance to be groomed for the position. The list of men he allegedly shut down includes Bush, as well as both David Gregory and Josh Elliott.


"Matt killed off, in their infancy, every man who could succeed him at the time that he was ready to hang it up — so there's nobody to take his place. And now NBC is paying the price," a source close to the show told journalists.