Donald Trump Once Called Holly Robinson Peete the N-Word

With how the last four years have gone down in the United States, it may be easy to forget that Donald Trump was a reality TV host before he became the president. On The Apprentice (and the popular spinoff The Celebrity Apprentice), Trump hired and fired competitors he didn’t think were worthy of working for the Trump Organization.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters while welcoming NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the White House April 2, 2019 in Washington, DC | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters while welcoming NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the White House April 2, 2019 in Washington, DC | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump and NBC differed on who they thought should win ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’

The Celebrity Apprentice differed from its predecessor in that celebrities competed to win prize money for a charity, rather than for themselves. But Trump was still the head honcho who called all the shots, including determining who got eliminated — or, famously, “fired.”

Season 3 of The Celebrity Apprentice came down to rockstar Bret Michaels and actor Holly Robinson Peete. Ultimately, Trump chose Michaels, who was playing for the American Diabetes Association charity, despite Robinson Peete performing better in the final challenge.

Robinson Peete recently spoke about the experience on SiriusXM’s The Karen Hunter Show. “I found him to be kind of piggish and bullish and stuff, but I didn’t find him to be… who he is now, I did not see that,” she said about Trump.

Holly Robinson Peete and Bret Michaels attend "The Celebrity Apprentice" Season 3 finale after party at the Trump SoHo on May 23, 2010 in New York City | Moises De Pena/FilmMagic
Holly Robinson Peete and Bret Michaels attend The Celebrity Apprentice Season 3 finale after-party at the Trump SoHo on May 23, 2010 in New York City | Moises De Pena/FilmMagic

Donald Trump used a racist slur to refer to Holly Robinson Peete

Robinson Peete went on to describe an incident that happened just minutes after Michaels was declared the winner.

“Shortly after the finale, rumors started going around that he had tossed out an ‘N-word’ referring to me. And I was like, ‘Huh?’” she recalled. “When the producer told me when it happened, during the finale, I remember the moment. I wasn’t in earshot, but I could see them deciding between me and Bret Michaels.”

“There was a moment where [Trump] was talking with producers and they’re really animated,” she continued. “That was when I heard that he said, ‘They want the ‘N-word’ to win.’ Because I guess the network wanted me to win or me to be chosen and Trump wanted Bret.”

Holly Robinson Peete
Actress Holly Robinson Peete visits Hallmark’s ‘Home & Family’ at Universal Studios Hollywood on November 30, 2018 in Universal City, California | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

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Holly Robinson Peete isn’t the only ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ alum who experienced Trump saying the N-word

Robinson Peete isn’t the only Celebrity Apprentice alum to hear about Trump using the N-word. Omarosa Manigault Newman was on the very first season of The Apprentice and later returned for The Celebrity Apprentice. And after Trump became president, she famously worked for the Trump Administration for less than a year.

After she left the White House in 2018, Manigault Newman stopped by The View to talk about what it was like working with Trump in the West Wing. She also discussed another documented incident where Trump used the N-word, and that she heard him use it.

“I don’t hold the tape; I’ve heard the tape,” Manigault Newman said, referring to the audio recording of Trump using the racial slur.

“You’ve heard him use the N-word on tape?” co-host Sunny Hostin asked Manigault Newman, to which she replied, “On the tape, yes.”

“The Trump world cult will probably applaud when they hear him say it because they’re desensitized to his racist ways,” Manigault Newman said plainly. She likened Trump to an arsonist who was trying to burn down the United States, and acknowledged that she was “complicit, handing him matches and giving him more fuel for his fires.”