Fending off Trump: Where did Nancy O'Dell get the moral spunk?

When we were all watching the infamous Donald Trump video last week, the first question to pop into many of our minds –- well at least mine –- was: Who was this mystery woman who fended him off? 

Now we know her name is Nancy O’Dell, 50, host of Entertainment Tonight. I began thinking that many women out there might not have said no to Donald Trump and the fact that O’Dell did refuse him might, just might speak to some moral underpinning. 

But do we see this in a ton of pieces out that simply rehash the tape and her part in it? Nope. For example, here's a CNN.com piece that included some bio

(CNN) -- Nancy O'Dell is the married woman who rejected Donald Trump's advances, as described in lewd comments he made in a 2005 conversation that surfaced Friday.
"Access Hollywood," the NBC show O'Dell co-anchored in 2005, identified her Friday as the woman Trump vulgarly discussed with Billy Bush, O'Dell's co-host at the time.
Today O'Dell is the co-anchor of CBS's "Entertainment Tonight."

After repeating her public statements about the matter,

O'Dell is an accomplished entertainment journalist and author with a career that includes awards and honors for her work and her beauty.
Throughout her career she's met and interviewed hundreds of American celebrities.
She started her TV career at local stations in her native South Carolina, reporting and anchoring in Myrtle Beach and Charleston before moving to Miami's NBC affiliate WTVJ-TV. From there she joined "Access Hollywood" in 1996.
O'Dell won an Emmy and three Associated Press awards for her work.
She was also honored by the beauty industry in 2009 with the inaugural "Beautiful Humanitarian Award," given to a public figure "who exemplifies beauty, both on the inside and out," according to the professional beauty association website.
In 2005, the year Trump made the lewd comments about her, she married Keith Zubchevich, a tech executive. Her daughter Ashby was born two years later.

The article continues by mentioning O’Dell’s book on pregnancy, her being a fan of Clemson University, a spokeswoman for ALS.com and a global ambassador for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

But that was it.  So I googled “Nancy O’Dell” and “faith.” Guess what I found?

Atop the list was an article in Guideposts which, for anyone remotely familiar with the world of religion, is a well-known Christian publication founded by Norman Vincent Peale in 1945. Then there was a 2003 piece in Christianity Today about her Christian commitment and attendance at a Methodist church as a child. She even cites her favorite Bible verse.

I’m not saying she talks about her faith all the time. She didn't for this 2013 Huffington Post piece, although knowing the animus against conservative Christians that can appear in HuffPo, I don’t blame her.

There are other hints. In this piece that shows a photo of O’Dell with her husband, Keith Zubchevich, he is wearing a cross. That might mean something. When her former husband Richard O’Dell got remarried in 2014, he and his new wife personally went to the Vatican to have their marriage blessed by Pope Francis. Now, newlyweds from around the world can do this, but one has to jump through several hoops. I am guessing that it’s mainly the committed Catholics who go to the trouble. So Nancy O’Dell has in the past and present associated with people who have some connection with Christianity.

Here’s another hint. Yes, she was married at a resort in Santa Barbara to Zubchevich in 2005 and not at a church. But the person who presided at the wedding, her uncle Kirk Lawton Jr, is a Southern Baptist minister  who has pastored churches in the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area, which is where O’Dell is from. Lots of publications are continuing to dig around about l'affaire O'Dell, but reporters -- who don't know what to look for -- are missing evidence that this woman might have had biblical reasons to walk away from Trump.

I am not saying she's akin to Pat and Shirley Boone or other personalities who openly preach their faith. But I am thinking there's a there there and reporters are missing it by a mile because they haven't a clue where to look. Even long profiles like this one in Pageantry didn't mention a thing about any faith connection. Do reporters simply not want to ask?

For those who might want to explore this angle on O'Dell, start looking into where she and her family attend church or if her kids attend a private religious school. Work any contacts in southern California who know which celebs are serious about their faith. There's a lot of private Bible studies out there. Maybe O'Dell attends one of them.

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