NANCY O’Dell, the “married woman” discussed in Donald Trump’s crass 2005 video, returned to work on Monday night and addressed the recent controversy on national television.
Opening the nightly show, the Entertainment Tonight host reasserted her initial comments from Saturday after the now infamous “p****” video surfaced, saying there is “no room for objectification of women”, anywhere.
“I feel that it’s very important that I address you all directly,” O’Dell, 50, said. “As a journalist for 26 years now, it is my job to bring you news about others, rather than turning the focus on myself.
“But by now, I’m sure that most of you have heard the audiotape which became national news and part of the presidential race. My name was mentioned and, unfortunately, the release of it has thrown me into the middle of the political arena of which I didn’t ask to be a part,” she said.
“I released a statement on Saturday and I truly mean what I said,” she continued. “There is no room for objectification of women, or anyone for that matter — not even in the ‘locker room’. The conversation has got to change because everybody deserves respect.”
On Friday, it was revealed the veteran entertainment journalist was crudely objectified in a leaked 2005 recorded conversation between Trump and Billy Bush, who was her Access Hollywood co-host at the time. O’Dell is the married woman named “Nancy” referenced in the conversation between the pair while they were shooting a segment on the set of Days Of Our Lives.
Many were shocked that Bush participated in the discussion, which Trump later dismissed as “locker room talk”. He and O’Dell co-hosted the entertainment show for five years, until she abruptly left in 2009.
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago,” the presidential hopeful said in a statement Saturday.
Bush, who says he is “embarrassed and ashamed” by his involvement, has since been suspended indefinitely from his anchor job on NBC’s Today show.
After the tape was released over the weekend, O’Dell commented publicly, saying: “It was disappointing to hear such objectification of women.
“The conversation needs to change because no female, no person, should be the subject of such crass comments, whether or not cameras are rolling.”
The Republican candidate’s wife Melania Trump, who was pregnant with their son at the time the video was recorded, also released a statement on Sunday.
“The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” Melania said. “This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”