Days of our Lives' star Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker) was thrust into the national spotlight on Friday when newly uncovered tapes revealed her to be on the receiving end of extremely lewd sexual comments made by presidential hopeful Donald Trump and former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush in 2005. After a storm of media attention, the actress has decided to make an official comment about the obscene remarks that have prompted many high-level Republicans to withdraw their support of the GOP nominee.
"My name is Arianne (R-E-on) ZUCKER (Zooker) and I am a strong, independent, hard working mother, business woman and partner to a great man," she begins. "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. How we treat one another, whether behind closed doors, locker rooms or face to face, should be done with kindness, dignity and respect. 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."
"My name is Arianne (R-E-on) ZUCKER (Zooker) and I am a strong, independent, hard working (cont) https://t.co/jOE344FCSfó Arianne Zucker (@Ari_Zucker) October 9, 2016
An intense media spotlight began to shine on Zucker this past Friday when The Washington Post released a video of Trump arriving at the set of Days of our Lives in 2005, when the businessman made a cameo appearance opposite the actress. The newly uncovered audio/video features the Republican candidate making vulgar comments about women -- Zucker included -- during a conversation with former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush.
As the pair approached DAYS' Burbank studio via bus, Bush is heard saying, "Sheesh, your girl's hot as s--t. In the purple," seemingly referring to Zucker, who is later shown in the video wearing a purple mini-dress as she greets the men before their scheduled scene. "Whoa!" Trump exclaims to Bush, to which the entertainment host says, "Yes! The Donald has scored."
Before stepping off the tour bus, Trump says, "Maybe it's a different one," with Bush responding with, "It better not be the publicist. No, it's her." Trump agrees and says, "Yeah, it's her. With the gold," and then continues with, "I better 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... And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p--y. You can do anything."
Trump made additional vulgar comments in the video, including recounting a story in which he failed to seduce then-Access Hollywood co-anchor Nancy O'Dell. He has since apologized via an official statement. "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," Trump says. "I apologize if anyone was offended."
Billy Bush also apologized, stating, "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."
However, the pair's apologies haven't seemed to calm the storm that has followed Friday's release of the shocking video. Several notable Republicans have pulled their support of Trump and many others have condemned the obscene comments heard in the eleven-year-old video.
"Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified," said House Speaker Paul Ryan in a statement. "I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests."
Said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus: "No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever."
Even the Republican vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence, has spoken out against Trump, stating he "cannot defend" his running partner's lewd remarks. "As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the eleven-year-old video released yesterday," he wrote. "I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation [during Sunday night's debate]."
What do you think about the way Zucker responded to Trump's lewd comments? Has the controversial video influenced the way you view or plan to vote in this year's presidential race? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.