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Arianne Zucker, woman at the center of 2005 Donald Trump tape, breaks her silence

Arianne Zucker, an actress on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives," says she wasn't surprised when she first saw the tape.
/ Source: TODAY

Speaking out for the first time since a leaked 2005 video showed Donald Trump making lewd and offensive comments about her, actress Arianne Zucker says she wasn't surprised when she first saw the tape.

"Not with that type of personality, I wasn't shocked, which is probably why it doesn't mean a lot to me,'' Zucker told Janet Shamlian in an exclusive interview that aired on TODAY Thursday.

Zucker, an actress on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives," found herself in a real-life drama after the leak of an 11-year-old tape of a behind-the-scenes conversation between Trump and host Billy Bush on an "Access Hollywood" bus.

"I gotta use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her,'' Trump says, referring to Zucker. "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," he said in the 2005 conversation. "Grab 'em by the p---y."

The comments, made only moments before Trump met Zucker, have thrown his presidential campaign into crisis.

"They are offensive comments for women, period,'' Zucker said.

Bush has been suspended from his position on TODAY by NBC News and has apologized for his role in the incident.

"Who knows how (Bush) was feeling when he walked off the bus or what he needed to do in the relationship,'' Zucker said. "Because when he came off the bus along with Mr. Trump, I had no feeling but professional, that's it."

Trump was visiting the set of the soap opera for a cameo that day. He has issued an apology, calling the conversation "locker room banter." Zucker, who is the mother of a 6-year-old daughter, is now focused on moving forward.

"I want to teach my daughter that if she ever gets put in a situation like mommy is right now that she will hold her head high,'' she said. "And if she's learned anything from it, (it's) how can she share this with other women or young girls or whoever is around her, young boys even.

"I think men can learn from this of how not to be in front of women or when they're speaking about women."

Zucker said she has not heard from Trump or his campaign managers since the controversy began.

"I'm ready to use it in a proper way,'' Zucker said about the attention over the tape. "I'm ready to use it for positivity. I'm ready to use it for women to step forward and to do good things in my life and for other people."

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.