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Video: "Apprentice" claim

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msnbc.com
updated 3/12/2004 4:10:05 PM ET 2004-03-12T21:10:05

Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth left the cast of NBC's reality show, "The Apprentice," when Donald Trump fired her on last week’s episode. It seems however, that Manigault-Stallworth’s 15 minutes of fame — and controversy —are not over.

Manigault-Stallworth is accusing one of her fellow contestants of racial bias, particularly the use of the ‘"n" word.

(MSNBC is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC.)

On ABC’s ‘The View’ Wednesday, host Star Jones asked Manigault-Stallworth about an angry scene that aired in an earlier episode of the show. During an argument with Manigault-Stallworth, fellow contestant Ereka Vetrini made the comment that Manigault-Stallworth was “the pot calling the kettle black."

Omarosa told Jones that the use of this metaphor was a racial slur — and said that she was also called something much worse that was not aired.  “I was responding to a much, much worse term than that, that I won’t even say because it’s so repulsive,” she said. She later added that it was the ‘n’ word and that it was her "worst experience on the show."

She didn’t name Vetrini on ‘The View,’ but did so later on syndicated show "Inside Edition."

Vetrini then appeared on MSNBC's "Lester Holt Live" and vehemently denied that the slur was ever used. “The ‘n’ word was never uttered on the show, it doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. None of the other contestants said that either,” Vetrini told Holt.

Vetrini said that all of the "Apprentice" contestants are on camera or audible most of the time: “If we did say it, that would make television. That’s good TV," she said. "And if anyone said it, why didn’t she bring it up right then, not six weeks later?”

Vetrini said that Mark Burnett, the executive producer of the hit show, has reviewed the tapes and has no idea what Manigault-Stallworth is talking about.  NBC also says it’s unaware of any such incident.

“I’d never expect they’d cast such a lunatic,” said Vetrini.

Bullseye on her back
Manigault-Stallworth has said that she was unfairly depicted on the show as lazy and mean, saying that this is what is usually done to powerful black women on TV.

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She has also attributed her firing to a group effort to get her out of the competition. On MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," she said, “The first reason I got fired was very simple:  I was truly the strongest player.  And, as a result, the other contestants put a big bullseye on my back and they wanted to get me out.”

In her final episode, Donald Trump said Manigault-Stallworth had “a chip on her shoulder,” and fired her for her inability to get along with her teammates. He also wasn't happy about her frequent claims of a concussion after plaster fell on her head at one of Trump’s construction sites. The resulting headaches continued for 3 more weeks  — except when it was time to get rewards, claimed her then-teammate Heidi Bressler.

“We never looked at her and saw a color, we saw a person — that none of us agreed with,” says Vetrini. “Unless the whole entire cast is racist, she has a very poor argument.”

Manigault-Stallworth has been making talk-show circuit saying that she has been fielding offers to host her own talk show. “I really got a lot of interest when I first got on the show, and started getting calls from a lot of different places,” she said.

She says she’s modeling herself after Trump, who she still respects. “I‘m trying to mold myself after him by branding my own line of business suits and business accessories, coming out with my own book, and designing my own talk show,” she told Matthews.

Jesamyn Go is an associate Web producer for MSNBC-TV.

© 2013 msnbc.com Reprints

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