Omarosa Manigault has penned a passionate essay defending her former Apprentice boss, Donald Trump, against allegations of racism and sexism, and revealing how the president-elect was there for her after her brother’s murder and the sudden death of her then-fiancé, actor Michael Clarke Duncan.
“I’m black, female, and Donald Trump is my friend,” the former reality star wrote in The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday, December 6. “In my experiences with him, he has only been professional. I am aware of the perceptions. But he is open-minded: He does not judge people on their gender or race. He judges them on their ability to do the job,” she wrote of the real estate mogul.
Addressing claims of sexism, Manigault said Trump’s companies have more female executives than his competition and pays them more, and pointed out his daughter Ivanka Trump “is about to take over the company.”
During the campaign, a leaked 2005 Access Hollywood video surfaced in which the Republican could be heard bragging to journalist Billy Bush about grabbing women by the genitals. The business mogul turned politician was also accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, and was often criticized for making derogatory remarks about women’s appearances.
As for racism, the 42-year-old denied ever seeing any signs that Trump or his family discriminates, pointing out that the businessman had invested in her career, openly called her his “favorite contestant” and even backed her dating show spinoff, The Ultimate Merger, which featured an African American cast and was on black network TV One.
“Truly, I am living the American Dream because of Donald Trump. Look at my career, the wealth and exposure that I’ve had: It’s very difficult to make the argument that Donald Trump doesn’t like black people and black women,” she wrote.
The former reality star, who is the Trump campaign’s director of African American outreach, is now working for Trump in a “national engagement role” on his presidential transition team, and said the 70-year-old businessman wants his administration to be “the most diverse in history,” including the LGBT community. “He spoke very openly at the convention about his desire that there be equality for LGBT people, for all people. These are things that have come out of his own mouth,” Manigault wrote.
She also opened up about how Trump reached out after the murder of her brother Jack Manigault in 2011, and then again when her fiancé, actor Michael Clarke Duncan, died from complications after a heart attack at age 54 in 2012.
“I was destroyed,” she wrote of her brother’s death. “Donald was very concerned and one of the first people to contact me.” And after Duncan’s sudden death, Trump was a “great support,” she added. “He told me how he knew what a great guy Michael was and how happy I had been with him at that time and how huge a loss it was for me. I can tell you I experienced a kindness and compassion the world has not seen — the world does not know that side of Donald Trump.”