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'Apprentice' regret: La Toya Jackson 'didn't mean' to blame Omarosa for actor's death

March 19, 2013 at 9:29 AM ET

On "Celebrity Apprentice," as in life, you do not underestimate Omarosa Manigault. Unfortunately, on Sunday's "Celebrity Apprentice," La Toya Jackson learned that a little too late.

And she had plenty of regrets and mea culpas to offer during her chat with TODAY's Natalie Morales Tuesday morning. First off, Jackson does recognize she made a mistake in not bringing Manigault back to face Donald Trump: "I certainly do, I regret it very much so," she said. "I think if I had to do it again, of course I would definitely bring her back to the boardroom."

Still, she's doubtful that would have changed anything. "I truly believe that he fell for the crocodile tears," said Jackson. "I also believe that he wouldn't have gotten rid of her.... I kept thinking, 'You know, if I were a producer, I'd keep her in the show to keep the mess going.'"

But things may not be over between the two women; Jackson's statements on the show post-firing ("Omarosa's fiance passed away not long ago. He had a heart attack, I'm sure she gave it to him" and "She’s a conniving, scheming, cut-throat, probably pulled the cord on Michael Duncan Clarke [sic] … and I thought Mr. Trump was falling for that fake cry. Such a lie!") put her back in Omarosa's cross-hairs.

The late actor Michael Clarke Duncan was engaged to Manigault when he passed in 2012.

The remaining "Apprentice" contestant's lawyer has called those statements "defamatory," and Morales asked Jackson about the potential lawsuit.

"I haven't received anything (from Omarosa's lawyer) from that, so I have no clue. I think Michael is a wonderful person," she said, and added that she was misunderstood in what she said about Omarosa. "I didn't mean it that way at all, not at all," she said. "He's a sweet guy. He was."

Stay tuned; the drama may be continuing far past the boardroom on this one.

"All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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