The “Entertainment Tonight” host opened Monday’s show by addressing the Republican presidential nominee’s comments:
I feel it’s very important that I address you all directly. 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. 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. I released a statement on Saturday and I truly mean what I said. There is no room for objectification of women, or anybody for that matter, not even in the “locker room.”
Trump’s comments include him bragging about being able to do anything to women ― including sexually assault them ― because of his fame.
“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,” he said. “And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything ... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
In her initial statement, O’Dell said that she was “saddened that these comments still exist in our society,” adding, “It was disappointing to hear such objectification of women.”
“Everyone deserves respect no matter the setting or gender,” 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.”
Following the tape’s release, rumors are swirling that far more damning tapes of The Donald from his time on “The Apprentice” exist. According to Bill Pruitt, a former producer on the show, “there are far worse” things Trump has said. Producer Chris Nee speculated Trump was recorded saying the N-word.
On Sunday, a GoFundMe campaign was launched with the goal of raising $5.1 million in hopes of inspiring someone to leak the supposedly damning footage.
While The Huffington Post has yet to confirm any such tape exists, HuffPost did obtain a transcript from Season 9 of “The Apprentice,” which further illustrates Trump’s obsession with women’s looks.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.