Donald Trump is still in shock over pal Joan Rivers' death this past September. After announcing the new Celebrity Apprentice cast on Tuesday, Nov. 4, the billionaire chatted with Access Hollywood about the late comedienne, who filmed two episodes of his show prior to her passing at age 81.
"I saw her a week before she died, and I said to somebody, 'Look at her. Look at the energy and enthusiasm and everything,'" he recalled of the Fashion Police star. "To think what happened is incredible, because a week before, I was pointing out the strength and the power of Joan. That's life."
Trump, 68, went on to crucify the doctors involved in the procedure that led to her death. (According to the Medical Examiner's Office, Rivers died as a result of a "predictable complication of medical therapy" suffered during a minor surgery at the Yorkville Endoscopy Clinic.)
"It just would seem to me that the doctors did a terrible job," the business magnate told Access Hollywood. "One week before she was phenomenal. I was with her! And then all of a sudden she's gone. I think the doctors made a terrible mistake."
He's not the only one with that suspicion. As previously reported, Rivers' daughter Melissa Rivers has hired NYC-based law firm Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz to look into the "facts and circumstances" surrounding her mother's death.
In the meantime, Trump hopes to remind viewers of the comedy legend's zest for life by airing her Celebrity Apprentice episodes in memoriam. He and his team considered editing her scenes out of the new season but ultimately decided to leave them in as tribute to the star, who won the second season of Celebrity Apprentice back in 2009.
"She was so incredible on these two episodes, it almost would have been unfair to take her out," he told Access of the footage she shot for the upcoming seventh season. "And I think she would be very happy as she looks down and says, 'Good, I'm glad they left me in.' She was fantastic…and she was a past winner. She was stronger, tougher, smarter than a lot of very good people, so I think it's paying great respect to have Joan on."
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