Nancy O’Dell wishes to be excluded from this narrative.
The “Entertainment Tonight” host directly addressed the lewd comments that Donald Trump made about her in a 2005 tape published by The Washington Post on Friday, saying on air Monday that the tape “has thrown me in the middle of the political arena, of which I didn’t ask to be a part.”
The Republican presidential nominee used vulgar language 11 years ago to describe failed attempts to seduce a woman he referred to as “Nancy.” And while talking about groping and kissing women, he said, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” Trump has since said those comments were “locker-room banter.”
On the air Monday, O’Dell said: “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 no matter the gender or setting.”
She continued: “And as a mom, well I have to add that our kids, especially our young girls, need to know that their hard work, their achievements, their intelligence, their heart, are most important, and those things will not go unnoticed.”
O’Dell released a written statement the day after the tape of Trump was published. “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,” she said. “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.”
In 2005, Trump was on a bus with Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood” before filming a promo for an upcoming “Days of Our Lives” cameo as a hot microphone captured their voices. Trump mentioned “Nancy,” saying, “I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping.”
“She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture,’ ” Trump added. “I moved on her like a b—-. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony t–s and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
Trump and Bush also made comments about actress Arianne Zucker, who was waiting to escort the two men from the bus to the set. At one point, Trump suggested he may just start kissing the actress.
On Sunday, Zucker released a statement. She didn’t mention Trump or Bush by name.
“How we treat one another, whether behind closed doors, locker rooms or face to face, should be done with kindness, dignity and respect,” she said. “Unfortunately, there are too many people in power who abuse their position and disregard these simple principles and are rewarded for it.”
Trump was asked about his comments during Sunday night’s presidential debate, saying he did not do the things he said in the tape.
“You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault,” moderator Anderson Cooper said. “You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?”
Trump responded: “No, I didn’t say that at all. I don’t think you understood what was — this was locker-room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.”
The “locker-room banter” label has also kicked off a wave of pushback from athletes and sports journalists who frequent locker rooms and say that kind of conversation is rare in the spaces they frequent.
“As an athlete, I’ve been in locker rooms my entire adult life and, uh, that’s not locker-room talk,” tweeted Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle, 30.