Omarosa Manigault-Newman earned her fair share of enemies long before she took her talents and tape recorder to Washington.
She was one of the greatest reality-TV villains of all time, infamous for butting heads in Donald Trumps televised boardroom on The Apprentice. But on a March 2013 episode of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, Omarosa met her match in La Toya Jackson. After what was seen as a shocking firing, Jackson let loose post-elimination with a harsh Omarosa takedown, reportedly calling her ex-teammate a conniving, scheming, cut-throat, (who) probably pulled the cord on Michael Duncan Clarke [sic], adding, Omarosas fianc passed away not long ago. He had a heart attack, Im sure she gave it to him.
Michael Clarke Duncan, the Green Mile and Armageddon actor, suffered a heart attack in July 2012 and died two months later. It was revealed after the stars death that Omarosa and Duncan were secretly engaged.
In response to Jacksons rant, Omarosa announced plans to sue the singer over the false, vicious and defamatory comments. In a statement to Radar Online, Omarosas attorney wrote, La Toya Jacksons statement on the March 17, 2013, episode of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, that the Reverend Omarosa Manigault caused her fianc Michael Clarke Duncan to die, is false, vicious and defamatory.
Rev. Manigault has been heralded as a life saver for her actions on the evening that her fianc suffered a life-ending heart attack, the statement continued. It is because of her bravery that Mr. Duncanthe love of Rev. Manigaults lifewas able to live for months beyond that tragic night. Mr. Duncan passed away from natural causes.
It concluded, As her counsel, we have been directed to pursue these defamatory statements to the fullest extent of the law with La Toya Jackson and any other participating publications or media outlets who repeat or repost these statements.
During a visit to Howard Sterns radio show, Omarosa elaborated on her litigious plot. She said really nasty things about Michael, she told Stern, reflecting on her on-screen nemesis. She said, he had a heart attack and I know that she caused it. He was on life support and she went and pulled the plug. While the radio host questioned if Omarosa had a case, the Apprentice star was unfazed, saying, It is only actionable if [Jackson] repeats it; its called a reckless disregard for the truth.
Omarosa insisted, She said it back in October when she first taped the show. Shes repeated it subsequently on all of these talk shows.
She further maintained that she obviously did not pull the plug on her husband-to-be, saying, God no, I loved that man.
Omarosa deemed Jackson sick and demented, and told Stern that, The lawsuit is going forward. We gave her the time to retract it and now well both be spending money on lawyers. But according to an E! News article at the time, when asked for comment, La Toyas rep said they had no knowledge of any such lawsuit. (The Daily Beast could not reach La Toya Jackson or Omarosa for further comment.)
Also in March, another Celebrity Apprentice star, Claudia Jordan, shared some thoughts on Omarosas behavior in the wake of Michael Clarke Duncans passing. During an appearance on The Wendy Williams Show, Jordan didnt hold back when discussing Duncans funeral. Williams mentioned that Omarosa had previously called Jordan out for sharing a photo from the ceremony on social media. For her to have an issue with me putting a picture, a tribute to Michael, who was my friend, when this woman had a red carpet at her fiancs funeral, I think thats a little bit more despicable, Jordan responded. She was doing press at the funeral.
Jordan added another dig: And she didnt cry, so she didnt need any makeup touch-ups.
There was a photographer by the body, OK? she continued. So please dont let Omarosa fool you with this woe is me thing, because this is the first time Ive ever heard she was upset about this. I have the utmost respect for Michael Clarke Duncan.
I called a friend of mine after the funeral, I said this was a mockery of a funeral. This was a press opportunity.
Jordan also had allegations about behind-the-scenes Celebrity Apprentice behavior, telling Williams, We have money-raising challenges on the show, and Omarosa told myself, Brandy, La Toya, several of us, that she had access to some of the money from the charity that Michael Clarke Duncan had, and if she needed it, she would use it. This is what she told me. And we were all like, I dont think thats even, youre able to do that!
She concluded, When Im hearing you bragging every day about the money he left behind and the mom didnt get this and that and you got everything, Im like, why are we talking about his money? Why are we not talking about how much you miss him?
The plot thickened in April when TMZ reported that Michael Clarke Duncans sister, Judy, had questions about whether the late actors fiance unduly influenced him into re-writing his will months before he died and leaving almost everything to her.
Judy Duncan told TMZ that, Shes hired a lawyer to investigate the circumstances surrounding the change to the actors will in April 2012, making Omarosa the main beneficiary.Judy believes MCD was not of sound mind when he made the changes… because as early as December 2011, the actor was not himself, slurring words and stumbling around.
The post continues, Judy says her suspicions about Omarosa intensified when MCD was hospitalized following his heart attack… telling us Omarosa was fixated on MCDs money when he was on life support. Another thorn in Judys side… Omarosa has already sold a bunch of MCDs personal effects (watches, cars, his Green Mile directors chair, awards, etc.). Judy says Omarosa sold the stuff without the familys knowledge… and shes pissed.
In response to the allegations, Omarosa told the gossip website, I dont control the estate or the finances and Judy knows it. If you saw all of her emails and texts to me, you would see that she is just trying to get money from me, and threatened going to press if I did not give it to her and that is a crime!
In December 2013, Omarosa went after Duncans relatives again, blaming family infighting for the fact that Michael Clarke Duncan has been lying in an unmarked grave for more than a year. According to a Daily News article, Reality TV star Omarosa Manigault said she visits her late fiancs unmarked tomb at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills on a weekly basis and was so heartbroken over its anonymity, she finally stepped in with the trustee of his estate. Omarosa told the Daily News that she had had a beautiful memorial plaque ordered, saying, I tried to do it immediately, but his sister, niece and cousins could not decide on what to put down. I finally had to step in and tell them to come to some consensus. She further alleged that the actors family does not visit him.
During an appearance on an April 2016 episode of Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry, Omarosa finally made peace with all of the drama surrounding Duncans passingafter first wondering if Henry would be able to tell her if Donald Trump is going to become President of the United States. Omarosa and Henry talked about Duncans sister and the interfamily feuding, with Omarosa explaining, She has his mother. Theres nothing I can do… he did not want his mother with her.
But when Henry implied that Duncan had moved on from past squabbles, Omarosa replied, Hes over it? Then Im over it. During post-contact reflection, she concluded, For me, this session meant that love conquers all, and that you should love your family and your man, and your siblings, while you have the chance.