Days of Our Lives actress Arianne Zucker is speaking out after leaked tapes from 2005 of Donald Trump and Access Hollywood host Billy Bush speaking crassly about women surfaced on Friday.
Zucker and current Entertainment Tonight correspondent Nancy O'Dell were the targets of Trump and Bush's lewd comments overheard in the hot mic audio. The conversation was reportedly recorded when the Republican presidential nominee, newly married to Melania Trump at the time, appeared on Access to discuss his cameo on Days of Our Lives. Zucker had been present to the escort the two men to the set of the soap drama.
"I am a strong, independent, hard working mother, business woman and partner to a great man. I have grown to learn that the words of others cannot effect the value of my self worth or define the content of my character," Zucker said in a statement tweeted Sunday. "How we treat one another, whether behind closed doors, locker rooms or face to face, should be done with kindness, dignity and respect."
She continued: "Unfortunately, there are too many people in power who abuse their position and disregard these simple principles and are rewarded for it. In understanding the magnitude of this situation, I choose to stand tall with self respect and use my voice to enrich, inspire and elevate the best of who we are as people."
In audio tapes unearthed by the Washington Post on Friday, Trump is heard telling Bush as he readies to meet co-star Zucker, "I've got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful - I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait."
Bush is heard egging Trump on, saying, "Sheesh, your girl's hot as shit - in the purple. Yes! The Donald has scored. Whoa, my man!"
As Bush and Trump leave the Access Hollywood bus after they've had their private conversation to meet Zucker face-to-face, Bush goads Zucker on to give both men a hug.
Trump issued the following statement Friday: "This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course - not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended."
Bush also apologized for his comments in a statement: "Obviously I'm embarrassed and ashamed. It's no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago - I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I'm very sorry."