Nancy O’Dell, the woman who Donald Trump referred to in a 2005 recording that leaked Friday, addressed the controversy on her first day at work since the revelation on “Entertainment Tonight” Monday.
“I feel it’s very important that I address you all directly,” the host said on ET. “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 audio tape which became national news and part of the presidential race.”
The tape revealed a private conversation between Trump and O’Dell’s former colleague Billy Bush, in which Trump was recorded saying several offensive comments about O’Dell. Trump has apologized for his remarks about the now-ET host and has continually dismissed them as “locker room talk.”
“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,” O’Dell admitted. (RELATED: This Is The Woman Donald Trump Tried To Sleep With In 2005)
“I released a statement on Saturday and I truly mean what I said,” O’Dell continued. “There is no room for objectification of women, or anybody for that matter, not even in the ‘locker room.'”
“When I heard the comments yesterday, it was disappointing to hear such objectification of women,” O’Dell wrote in her statement Saturday. “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.”
Bush, who worked as a co-host with O’Dell on Access Hollywood at the time of the recording, has also apologized for involvement in the tape. The “Today” co-anchor was suspended from his position on the NBC morning show, following the release of the tape.
“Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed,” Bush said in a statement. “It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago–I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry,” Bush added.