April 01, 2013 9:04pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
'Celebrity Apprentice': Omarosa on Her 'Intimidated' Teammates and Why She Went After Lil Jon
While All-Star Celebrity Apprentice villain Omarosa escaped the previous two boardrooms, her luck ran out on Sunday night's episode.
Omarosa, who has been dubbed one of reality TV's greatest villains ever, didn't shy away from that label this season. She made waves in the first episode by playing a major role in the firing of Bret Michaels, the only past winner to compete this season, and continued to clash with her teammates, including La Toya Jackson and Claudia Jordan, a former friend.
The previous two weeks, the losing project managers -- Jackson and Jordan -- shocked viewers (and Donald Trump) by deciding not to bring Omarosa into the boardroom, both citing the fact that they believed Trump was not ready to fire the three-time player because of her ability to create good-for-TV drama. But in the most recent episode, project manager Lil Jon had no such reservations, and she was sent packing.
On Monday, Omarosa talked to The Hollywood Reporter about who she thought should have been fired, why she believes Jackson and Jordan decided against bringing her into the boardroom and what she thinks about past winner and returning judge Piers Morgan.
The Hollywood Reporter: Were you surprised you were the one fired this week?
Omarosa: No. Anytime you sign up to go on the show, you know there is a good chance you could be fired. I think that the first time I could have been fired was in week three, but then La Toya was too intimidated to bring me back into the boardroom. That was the first time I dodged the bullet. I really did dodge the bullet several times.
THR: Do you believe that's the reason neither Claudia nor La Toya brought you back into the boardroom? They were intimidated?
Omarosa: No question. I think Brande [Roderick], Claudia and La Toya didn't bring me in because they knew the boardroom was an intellectual battle, and none of them was armed for that battle.
THR: You are suing La Toya over some of the comments she made about you [including accusing her of "pulling the cord" on her late fiancé, Michael Clarke Duncan]. Can you comment on that?
Omarosa: We are going to pursue these malicious, false and untruthful comments she made about Michael Clarke Duncan.
THR: Claudia also has been very vocal in her criticism toward you [she claimed onThe Wendy Williams Show that Omarosa told her she had "access to the money from the charity that Michael Clarke Duncan had, and she would use it if she needed it"]. Do you plan to sue her as well?
Omarosa: No, and let me be clear about why La Toya's comments were an issue. Don't talk about my fiancé. I am very protective of Michael's legacy, and these comments that La Toya made -- if you notice, all of the fired contestants continue to say negative things to me. While we were on the show, they never said it. It shows they are sore losers and angry and bitter. I can't give much credence to someone for waiting to take me to task about those things. I am very surprised that both Claudia and La Toya decided to attack my fiance as a form of retaliation for them getting fired. Michael Clarke Duncan is an incredible human being, and I think it's despicable for them to talk about him, his illness, his death, his funeral. Is nothing sacred at all? There has to be something that's still sacred.
THR: In the boardroom, you made a case for both Dennis and Lil Jon being fired, but in particular you tried to get Lil Jon fired despite his raising the most money during the challenge. Why did you go after him so hard?
Omarosa: My fellow teammates playing this game do not realize Lil Jon is a huge threat. This is not a Miss Congeniality competition of who is the nicest. This is a competition of people who are tough in business, and Lil Jon and Trace [Adkins] are probably the biggest threats in this game. As project manager, you are vulnerable, and I was thinking everyone would join me in trying to get rid of the big threats. But none of them are playing strategically. The only one who is, is Stephen Baldwin.
THR: Do you think he's playing a good game?
Omarosa: I'm not saying good [laughs], but at least he has a game. Folks don't realize this is Apprentice, not The Bachelor. We're not looking for love and friendship.
THR: Were you surprised that Piers Morgan still had it out for you? [The two competed together on the first Celebrity Apprentice, which aired in 2008.]
Omarosa: It was surprising. In the history of the show, there has never been such a biased judge, this explicitly biased judge who gave a quote to Today.com that his sole purpose was going back to get Omarosa fired. [Morgan's quote: "When Donald Trump asked me to be his boardroom adviser on two of the new All-Star Celebrity Apprentice challenges, I realized this would give me a unique opportunity to get Omarosa fired all over again. I saw it as a public duty on behalf of all Americans."] And that really put me in an extreme disadvantage. It took a lot of boys to bring me down in the boardroom -- Piers Morgan, Eric Trump, Lil Jon, Dennis Rodman. I had some huge obstacles to overcome, and that's a testament to how tough I am. It takes four men to bring me down. Piers really needs to focus more of his energy on his ratings, on his failed CNN show, as opposed to obsessing over me.
THR: Why did you go back on Apprentice?
Omarosa: To play for Michael's charity, the Sue Duncan Children's Center, on the south side of Chicago, that's the single reason I came back to Apprentice. The only reason -- to honor his charity and legacy.
THR: Would you do it again?
Omarosa: I think I might participate in a senior citizen version if it's still around [laughs].
THR: Who do you think will win?
Omarosa: There is no question Trace has this in the bag. He's going to win.
THR: What's next for you?
Omarosa: Tomorrow, I'm going on Oprah Winfrey's Where Are They Now? [It airs at 10 p.m. on OWN.] It's my first sitdown interview since Michael died. They also go to church with me, where I'm preaching in the pulpit as a pastor [she's an ordained minister], and I think it will be very interesting.
All-Star Celebrity Apprentice airs at 9 p.m. Sundays.