Entertainment journalist Nancy O'Dell is finally speaking her mind about being objectified in the leaked 2005 recorded conversation between Donald Trump and Billy Bush, who was her Access Hollywood colleague at that time. In its Friday broadcast, the show identified her as the Nancy that Trump said he'd attempted to sleep with in the recording.
On Saturday afternoon, O'Dell issued a statement via the website for her current show, Entertainment Tonight.
"Politics aside, I’m saddened that these comments still exist in our society at all," she wrote. "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."
O'Dell and Bush co-hosted the entertainment news magazine together for five years until she left in 2009. This spring, he swapped places with Today's Natalie Morales, joining NBC's flagship morning show in its 9 a.m. hour while she took over anchor duties on Access Hollywood.
In the setup for Friday's Access Hollywood piece, current anchor Morales provided context for the audio recording first published by the Washington Post.
She explained that Trump had been in Los Angeles to attend the 2005 Emmys on behalf of his nominated reality competition show The Apprentice and that Bush picked him up on a tour bus being used to promote Access Hollywood's 10th anniversary.
That timing means the recording happened in mid-September of that year.
What transpired next, she says, was not a conversation between two men left alone during a long break in production who forgot their microphones were still hot.
"There were seven other people on the bus with Mr. Trump and Billy Bush at the time," Morales explained. "They were the two-person camera crew, the bus driver, an Access Hollywood producer, a production assistant, Mr. Trump’s security guard and his PR person."
She then explained that when they reached the studio, the camera crew got off the bus in order to catch the two stepping out.
As the two men sat on the tour bus, Trump, 59, regaled Bush with the tale of his failed attempt to have sex with O'Dell, the TV host's own colleague. "I moved on her very heavily," Trump recalled, adding that he'd even taken her furniture shopping in an attempt to woo her. "I moved on her like an (expletive), but I couldn’t get there and she was married.”
It's not clear whether Trump hit on O'Dell during her first marriage, which lasted from 1995-2004 or her second, which began in June 2005. Trump was a newlywed at the time of the recording, having married his third wife, Melania Knauss, that January. At the time of the recording, she was pregnant with Trump's youngest son, Barron.
Trump added a postscript, adding that he no longer found O'Dell desirable: “Then, all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony (breasts) and everything, she’s totally changed her look.”
The two soon moved on to a new target: actress Arianne Zucker, the Days of our Lives star who would be Trump's host on the soap-opera set.
Bush declared Zucker "hot as (expletive), adding "The Donald has scored." He would later try and help his buddy out by encouraging Zucker to hug Trump.
Both men issued mea culpas after the recording leaked Friday — though it's worth nothing that neither statement included personal apologies to O'Dell or Zucker, the women whose bodies they so cavalierly discussed.