Omarosa believes CNN host Piers Morgan was “vicious” and went out of his way to target her when he served as a mentor on the upcoming season of NBC’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice,” which premieres on the network this March.
“Donald [Trump] would try to back him off, but he was like a dog, like a hound dog on me and it was tough, because I was grieving and I wasn’t bringing that into the boardroom, but it was there,” Omarosa told AccessHollywood.com on Sunday, referring to the death of her fiance, actor Michael Clarke Duncan, who passed away in September 2012, weeks before she began filming the NBC reality show.
“Everybody was kind of nurturing, everybody was very, very supportive, but he didn’t care,” she continued, speaking to Access after the panel for her show, at the Television Critics Association Winter 2013 Session in Pasadena, Calif.
The reality star claimed she was still mourning and wasn’t able to put up the kind of fights she’s known for on versions of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” when she faced off with Piers on the show.
“I wasn’t my normal self, where I could be edgy and fight,” she added. “The truth is, I was probably functioning at 40 percent and you know [this] was six, seven weeks after Michael’s death and I really just wanted to get out and you know, get through it.”
Omarosa claimed Piers was, “singularly focused, tunnel focused on lobbying to get me off of the show, lobbying to get me fired.”
“It wasn’t a mentor environment. It was the most toxic experience — I mean, to the point where my castmates went — on my behalf — to the powers that be, because it was so vile and so vicious and so personal,” she said.
Despite Omarosa’s claims, she’s not willing to lend her name to the petition that emerged over the holidays from people hoping to get the CNN host deported from the U.S.A.
“I saw that. I’m a journalist by trade so I’m very careful about people’s rights… He has to understand the situation he’s stirring up and he’s really brilliant at creating controversy to focus on himself so I wasn’t sure if he was part of that shtick or whatever, but I’d be curious to see what comes out of it,” she told Access. “I don’t get involved with it, because when I tell you he’s so toxic — like usually I have fun mixing it up with people, that is just – it’s unnatural.”’
Beyond her interactions with Piers, Omarosa said she also had trouble with La Toya Jackson, who also appears in the upcoming season.
“I always wondered in her season why people were fighting with sweet La Toya Jackson,” she said when Access asked about her conflict with the singer, a clip of which was shown at the TCA event on Sunday morning. “Her season she got into fights with everybody. And I was like… ‘Why is NeNe [Leakes] and Starr [Jones]…’ like everybody was fighting with La Toya Jackson. I’m like, I just don’t get it. She looks so sweet. And then you get on a show with her and you realize that she’s unnecessarily conniving. Like, in moments when we’re just eating breakfast, ‘La Toya, just relax. There’ll be times for catfights and strategy. We’re just having breakfast.’ You realize that everything she does is strategic, which is not a problem. You know we were doing the girl thing, we were six women, trying to have girl time and she’s not a girls’ girl.”
While the new “Apprentice” season doesn’t premiere until March 3, Omarosa hinted she may have helped cause some trouble for La Toya.
“You know, I was so pleased to be a part of her demise. I’m sorry. I’m not supposed to give stuff away, but I was so pleased to be a part of that,” she said. “I don’t know how to explain it. Like I’m the last person to be talking – who’s good, who’s bad. The one thing about me – I’m authentic. That’s what was missing.”
A rep for Piers did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Access Hollywood on Sunday.
-- Jolie Lash