March 27, 2013 at 11:19 AM ET
A couple of low-blow lines from one star during a tense episode of "Celebrity Apprentice" could go far beyond the made-for-TV boardroom.
Former all-star contestant La Toya Jackson lashed out at her in-game adversary Omarosa, and blamed the returning "Apprentice" villain for the death of actor Michael Clarke Duncan, who was engaged to Omarosa at the time of his fatal heart attack in Sept. 2012.
Now Omarosa wants payback -- in court.
Howard Stern, who spoke to Omarosa on his show Tuesday morning, asked her if she was really threatening to sue Jackson.
"Not threatening," she assured. "I'm going to. She said really nasty things about Michael."
"She said, 'He had a heart attack, and I know that she caused it,'" Omarosa recalled. "'He was on life support, and she went and pulled the plug.'"
Well close. As for the latter comment, what Jackson actually said was, '(Omarosa's) a no good, conniving, scheming, cutthroat -- probably pulled the cord on Michael Duncan Clarke (sic)."
Still, Omarosa's point stands, although Stern questioned whether or not it was really actionable.
"It is actionable, if she repeats it," Omarosa countered. "It's called a 'reckless disregard of the truth.' So she said it in October when she first taped the show. She repeated it, subsequently, on all of these talk shows."
One of the shows Jackson visited after her "Apprentice" ouster was TODAY, where she explained that she had "no clue" about any lawsuit from Omarosa. As for her comments about the late actor's death, she said "I didn't mean it that way at all -- not at all."
But when she later showed up on Andy Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live," Jackson seemed to defend her comments.
"I think I must have said I wouldn't be surprised ... if she probably would (have removed Duncan from life support)," she hedged. "And that was a statement because everybody knows, that was working on the ('Apprentice') team, how she tried to sabotage everything."
So the suit is moving forward. When Stern asked specifically what Omarosa planned to sue for, she said the case was first and foremost about emotional distress.
"I mean, do you really want people to think that you harmed the person you love?" she responded.
That's when Stern asked the question that Jackson already attempted to answer.
"For the record, did you pull the plug on (him)?"
"God, no," Omarosa shot back. "I loved that man."
So she now plans to see her former "Celebrity Apprentice" teammate, who she called "sick and demented," in court.
"I gave her time to retract it, and now we'll both be spending money on lawyers," Omarosa promised.
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