Democracy Dies in Darkness

Arts and Entertainment

After failing to seduce Nancy O’Dell, Trump reportedly tried to have her fired

By Ellen McCarthy

October 8, 2016 at 4:37 PM

Television personality Nancy O’Dell arrives at the 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Exposition Center on Feb. 5, 2005, in Los Angeles. (Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

The woman who rejected Donald Trump’s sexual advances — referred to as “Nancy” in an obscenity-laced video obtained by The Washington Post — has been identified as Nancy O’Dell, a television personality whom he reportedly tried subsequently to have fired as host of the Miss USA pageant.

In the 2005 video clip, the Republican presidential nominee recalled his failed attempts to seduce a married woman. “I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it,” he said.

On Friday night, “Access Hollywood” reported that the woman who rebuffed Trump’s advances was that show’s former host, O’Dell. Trump’s crass remarks were made to O’Dell’s then co-anchor, Billy Bush, as the two men arrived for a cameo appearance by Trump on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”

Watch more!
In this video from 2005, Donald Trump prepares for an appearance on "Days of Our Lives" with actress Arianne Zucker. He is accompanied to the set by "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush. The Post has edited this video for length. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

Two years later, Trump tried to have O’Dell fired as host of the Miss USA pageant, reportedly because she was pregnant, although the video suggests he may have had other motives, as well.

After the video was released, TMZ quickly revived its previous reporting about Trump’s attempt to have O’Dell dismissed from the Miss Universe pageant in 2007. “A source tells TMZ that the enigmatic real estate developer wanted to drop O’Dell as host because he doesn’t like the way pregnant women look,” the site reported at the time.

O’Dell went on to host the pageant despite Trump’s objections, TMZ wrote, because NBC executives had the final decision-making power.

O’Dell is a television veteran who got her start as a news reporter in South Carolina, where she grew up. She spent a decade as the host of “Access Hollywood” and is now the co-anchor of “Entertainment Tonight” on CBS. She can frequently be seen interviewing celebrities on the red carpet before major award shows.

In 2005, O’Dell married tech executive Keith Zubchevich. Two years later, she gave birth to a daughter.

O’Dell released this statement on Saturday: “Politics aside, I’m saddened that these comments still exist in our society at all. When I heard the comments yesterday, 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. Everyone deserves respect no matter the setting or gender. As a woman who has worked very hard to establish her career, and as a mom, I feel I must speak out with the hope that as a society we will always strive to be better.”

Early Saturday morning, shortly after midnight, Trump released a short video apologizing for his remarks. He is slated to debate Hillary Clinton on Sunday evening.

O’Dell is scheduled to return to the air on Monday.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) joined the cavalcade of Republicans withdrawing their support for Trump. There are no excuses for Donald Trumps offensive and demeaning comments in the just released video; no woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences, McCain said in a statement. (Susan Walsh/AP)
I have committed my short time in Congress to fighting for the most vulnerable in our society. As a strong and vocal advocate for victims of sex trafficking and assault, I must be true to those survivors and myself and condemn the predatory and reprehensible comments of Donald Trump. I withdraw my endorsement and call for Governor Pence to take the lead so we can defeat Hillary Clinton, said Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.). (Kelley McCall/AP)
Im incredibly disappointed in our partys candidate. And unlike the Democrats who have proven completely unwilling to hold secretary Clinton accountable for her illegal activities that endangered our national security, I am willing to hold Mr. Trump accountable. I am therefore calling for him to step aside and to allow Mike Pence to lead our party, said Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah). (Rick Bowmer/AP)
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Nevada congressman stated at a rally on Oct. 8, I will no longer support the guy at the head of the ticket for the Republican nominee. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
I am rescinding my support for Donald Trump and asking to have my name removed from his agriculture advisory committee, Davis, of Illinois, said in a statement. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call,Inc.)
I cannot, in good conscience, continue to support him nor can I vote for Hillary Clinton, Heck said at a rally in Las Vegas on Oct. 8. (John Locher/AP)
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a longtime Trump critic but someone Trump put on his list of potential Supreme Court nominees: I respectfully ask you, with all due respect, to step aside, Lee said in a Facebook video. Step down. Allow someone else to carry the banner of [conservative] principles. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) tweeted on Oct. 8 that she would not vote for Trump and would instead write in Mike Pences name. (Jim Cole/AP)
Im horrified by #TrumpTape news. @realDonaldTrump campaign is a poisonous mix of bigotry ignorance. Enough! He needs to step down, tweeted former New York governor George E. Pataki, a onetime GOP presidential candidate. (John Locher/AP)
Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina also called for Trump to drop out. (Mary Schwalm/Reuters)
Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) who represents a strongly Republican district said she could no longer vote for Trump and she urged him to step down. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
I have reached the decision that I can no longer endorse Donald Trump. This is not a decision that I have reached lightly, but his pattern of behavior has left me no choice. ... Make no mistake. We need conservative leadership in the White House. I urge Donald Trump to step aside and allow the Republican Party to put forward a conservative candidate like Mike Pence who can defeat Hillary Clinton, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said. (Matt Cilley/AP)
Character matters. @realDonaldTrump is obviously not going to win. But he can still make an honorable move: Step aside let Mike Pence try, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) tweeted. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
@realDonaldTrump is wrong about his level of support. He needs to withdraw from the race. tweeted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
For the past several months I have been one of the few who refused to endorse Donald Trump. I have said all along that I was still waiting for Mr. Trump to demonstrate his commitment to the kinds of principles and policies the people in Utahs 4th Congressional District want in their elected leaders. Mr. Trump has yet to clear that bar and his behavior and bravado have reached a new low. I cannot vote for him. For the good of the party, and the country, he should step aside, said Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah). (Rick Bowmer/AP)
I am committed to defeating Hillary Clinton. The only way this is now possible is with a new nominee that reflects the values of our country and our party. I will not vote for Donald Trump. If Donald Trump wishes to defeat Hillary Clinton, he should do the only thing that will allow us to do so step aside, and allow Mike Pence to be the Republican Partys nominee, said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.). (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert tweeted, Donald Trumps statements are beyond offensive despicable. While I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, I will not vote for Trump. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr., who just last week confirmed he would vote for Trump, wont. In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom at such a critical moment for our nation and with so many who have tried to be respectful of a record primary vote, the time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket, Huntsman told the Salt Lake Tribune. (Elise Amendola/AP)
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) withdrew her support, The Washington Posts Jenna Portnoy reported. I cannot in good conscience vote for Donald Trump, Comstock said. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) rescinded his endorsement as well. Im out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine, Chaffetz told Utahs Fox 13 News. (Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency)
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) released this statement on Oct. 7: For the good of the country, and to give the Republicans a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump should step aside. His defeat at this point seems almost certain. And four years of Hillary Clinton is not what is best for this country. Mr. Trump should put the country first and do the right thing. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico said she no longer plans to vote for Donald Trump. (Susan Montoya Bryan/AP)
Alabama Gov. Robert J. Bentley said he no longer plans to vote for Donald Trump. (Brynn Anderson/AP)
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard said he no longer plans to vote for Donald Trump. (James Nord/AP)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) said he no longer plans to vote for Donald Trump. (Eric Gay/AP)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she no longer plans to vote for Donald Trump. (Pat Sullivan/AP)
Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio said he no longer plans to vote for Donald Trump. (Mark Duncan/AP)
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said he no longer plans to vote for Donald Trump. (Lance Iversen/AP)
Photo Gallery: Here are some of the Republicans who cut ties with Trump after lewd remarks

Ellen McCarthy is a feature writer for Style. She is the author of "The Real Thing: Lessons on Love and Life from a Wedding Reporter's Notebook."

Post Recommends


Keep reading for
just 99¢

Already a subscriber?

Secure & Encrypted