WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Mrs Melania Trump rose to her husband's defence on Monday (Oct 17), describing lewd comments the Republican presidential nominee made on a leaked 2005 video in which he bragged about groping women as "boy talk".
Mrs Trump, who has kept a low profile during her husband's presidential campaign, gave her first television interviews since the Oct 7 release of the tape that has shaken Mr Donald Trump's campaign ahead of the Nov 8 election.
She told CNN that her husband was engaged in "boy talk, and he was led on - like, egged on - from the host to say dirty and bad stuff" in the conversation with Access Hollywood host Billy Bush.
She added in a CNN interview which aired on Monday night that she was surprised because she had never heard her husband use that kind of language before.
"No. No, that's why I was surprised, because I said like I don't know that person that would talk that way, and that he would say that kind of stuff in private," she said.
In partial transcripts from a separate interview with Fox News, Mrs Trump said she had forgiven her husband for the comments in the tape, which was first published by the Washington Post.
"Those words, they were offensive to me and they were inappropriate. And he apologised to me. And I... accept his apology. And we are moving on."
They were her first public comments since a statement she issued after the tape's publication in which she said: "The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man that I know. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have."
Mrs Trump told Fox News that her husband, a New York businessman and former reality television star, was committed to running for office even though it was difficult because he had been "in so many shows, so many tapes" over the years.
The RealClearPolitics average of national opinion polls shows Mr Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton currently leading him by 6.9 percentage points, at 45.9 per cent to 39 per cent.
Asked if it was fair for the media or her husband to bring up charges of infidelity in former President Bill Clinton's past, Mrs Trump told Fox News: "Well, if they bring up my past, why not?"
After Mr Trump denied during a debate with Mrs Clinton on Oct 9 that he had actually done the things he bragged about in the tape, a number of women accused him of groping and kissing them without permission in incidents stretching back decades. He has denied the charges.
Asked about those accusations, Mrs Trump told Fox News:"All these women are coming out and they are allegations but they are not true. Why now? Why three weeks before the election?"