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'Days of Our Lives' star Arianne Zucker on lewd Donald Trump tape: 'I choose to stand tall'

Published: Monday, October 10, 2016 @ 2:10 PM
Updated: Monday, October 10, 2016 @ 2:10 PM
By: Theresa Seiger - Cox Media Group National Content Desk

The "Days of Our Lives" actress featured prominently in a controversial 2005 recording of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke out Sunday against "people who abuse their position(s)" after the recording was made public last week.

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Trump and "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush audibly ogled actress Arianna Zucker as the men talked on a bus branded with the entertainment news show's logo. The conversation, which Trump claims was little more than "locker room banter," was caught on a microphone that neither man realized was recording.

They talk about Zucker's legs as she approaches the bus.

>> Related: Trump deals with fallout from vulgar recording, vows to stay in race

"I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her," Trump says. "You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab them by the (expletive). You can do anything."

The video, obtained by The Washington Post and published Friday, has roiled the GOP.

In a short statement posted to Twitter on Sunday, Zucker said that she has "grown to learn that the words of others cannot effect the value of my self-worth or define the content of my character."

"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. 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."

Bush's "Access Hollywood" co-host, Nancy O'Dell, expressed disappointment over the comments in a statement released Saturday to ET Online. She was targeted in the recording, with Trump telling Bush that he tried, and failed, to have a sexual relationship with her before he insulted her appearance.

"Politics aside, I'm saddened that these comments still exist in our society at all," she said. "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."

>> Related: Does Trump's 'locker room banter' describe sexual assault?

Trump, meanwhile, has denied that his comments describe sexual assault -- as critics have claimed – and apologized for their inappropriateness.

"I'm very embarrassed by it. I hate it," Trump said Sunday at a presidential debate. "But it's locker room talk, and it's one of those things. I will knock the hell out of ISIS. We're going to defeat ISIS."