Arianne Zucker: Woman at centre of Donald Trump's 'grab them by the p****' comments responds

The actresses' name was thrust into the headlines after lewd comments made by Mr Trump in 2005 were leaked

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The Independent Online

The woman who Donald Trump was recorded making lewd and sexist comments about in a leaked 2005 recording has said she “chooses to stand tall” and blasted those in power who “abuse their position”.

On Friday, a tape surfaced of Mr Trump in conversation with Access Hollywood host Billy Bush in 2005. In the recording, Mr Trump brags about attempting to seduce a married woman before spotting the soap opera actress Arianne Zucker who he then proceeds to objectify using sexist rhetoric.

“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****. You can do anything.”

(Washington Post/Access Hollywood)

On Sunday, Ms Zucker, best known in the US for her role as Nicole Walker on the long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives, responded to the furore with a tweet saying she will not let the remarks “define the content of [her] character”.

“My name is Arianne ZUCKER and 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 [sic] 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.”

The leaked recording is the latest sexism scandal to land at Mr Trump’s door but the release of the tapes has delivered one of the biggest blows to his campaign with several high-profile Republicans withdrawing support for the real estate mogul.

Since its release, Mr Trump, 70 issued an apology over the recording: “I've said and done things I regret and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologise” he said before deflecting the statement back to Hillary Clinton.

During Sunday night’s debate against Ms Clinton he referred to the recording as “locker room talk” several times.