Could Secret 'The Apprentice' Tapes Implicating Donald Trump Be Out There, Just Waiting To End His Campaign?
As bad as this weekend has been for the Donald Trump campaign, there's a chance that it could get even worse. And that's without even going into his poor debate performance. Once again, it's Trump's comments that could get him in trouble — and this time it's really big. Yes, possibly even worse than the Access Hollywood tape that The Washington Post first reported about on Friday. An Emmy Award-winning producer claimed on Twitter that Trump allegedly used racial slurs while filming The Apprentice , and that there are tapes to prove it. Bustle has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment, but has not heard back at this time.
If the allegations are true, the footage could be very damning. But the only way to prove it true would be to release the video. Herein lies the problem. The producer, Chris Nee, first said on Twitter Friday, "Where are the tapes from The Apprentice? We all know they exist. Boy must everyone be afraid of getting sued." She went on to allege Sunday afternoon that the fee for leaking is $5 million and that producers and crew said that the N-word was the "far worse" that a producer hinted at Saturday. Those tweets have since been deleted.
Nee herself never worked on The Apprentice, but she has worked for the same executive producer, Mark Burnett. You might recognize his name from the credits of Survivor; he has also produced some other big reality TV programs including Shark Tank and, yes, The Apprentice.
BuzzFeed News reported Saturday that a source close to the Hollywood heavyweight said Burnett "is pro-Trump and has made clear to his teams that he will sue anyone who leaks." Bustle has reached out to Burnett for comment, but has not heard back at this time. In past years, he has supported Democrats, Variety reported. But he allegedly has ignored all requests from the Associated Press to get the footage, according to the AP.
The news agency's investigative reporting team first ran a story last Monday that covered some of the things that Trump had said about women during his reality show's outtakes. The story featured many sources who used to work on the show — some named and some unnamed — but the AP was never allowed to review any footage. Burnett allegedly first didn't return their calls, and then referred the matter to a PR firm that also failed to comment, according to the report.
Burnett has been pretty mum on Trump throughout the election season. Deadline Hollywood reported that Burnett dodged the topic at the Emmy's. After Jimmy Kimmel made a joke — "Thanks to Mark Burnett, we don’t have to watch reality shows anymore because we’re living in one" — a reporter backstage asked Burnett about Trump. His response: "How much free media can any one person get?"
Ultimately, the decision may not be up to Burnett. Variety and TMZ both reported that MGM now owns the rights to The Apprentice. And even though Burnett is the president of MGM Television, the company could be sued if they released the tapes because "it captures many people other than Trump." TMZ reported it would "almost guarantee" a lawsuit.
That may mean a leaker would have to bite the bullet. So sit tight. Already some are suggesting that the leak fee be crowdsourced.