'I Loved Being the Villain': Omarosa's Most Infamous TV Moments
In her 2004 reality TV debut, Omarosa Manigault (now Newman) competed on then-businessman Donald Trump's The Apprentice on NBC. It didn't take long before Omarosa, who boasted about having worked with Vice President Al Gore prior to her Apprentice run, began ruffling feathers among her fellow competitors. Not only was she known as one of reality TV's first villains, but a 2004 PEOPLE investigation revealed that she had inflated her title and success as a political appointee.
In fact, Omarosa also made quite a few enemies in the White House, banished from four jobs in two years with the Clinton administration. At her last one, "she was asked to leave as quickly as possible, she was so disruptive," said Cheryl Shavers, the former Under Secretary for Technology at the Commerce Department, with whom Omarosa worked several weeks in 2000. "One woman wanted to slug her."
THE SURREAL LIFE
After being "fired" from The Apprentice, Omarosa took her polarizing personality to season 5 of The Surreal Life, where she butted heads with former supermodel Janice Dickinson. The pair famously feuded for the entirety of the season, with Omarosa calling Dickinson "a crackhead" after the model threatened her with a knife.
THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE
Her run on the second installment of the NBC series included a feud with Piers Morgan. "Piers was looking at me like he was going to kill me," Omarosa recalled to Access Hollywood of the pair's arguments on the 2008 show. "That’s when there’s a line, I have kicked the line, stomped the line, crossed it. I mean, his attack towards me, my attacks towards him, going back and forth, it wasn’t entertainment anymore."
In 2013, she returned to an "All-Stars" edition of The Celebrity Apprentice; Morgan was among the judges, and wasted no time criticizing Omarosa. The future Trump aide also bickered with contestant La Toya Jackson.
"I loved being the villain," Omarosa previously told Access Hollywood. "There was something so exciting because it was so different, believe it or not, from my real life. On the personal side, there is a very sensitive aspect of me that I never let the world see because that’s being vulnerable and being weak and I never wanted to be perceived as weak."
Back in 2013, when Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel had her own talk show, she invited Omarosa on. The guest and host feuded over comments the RHONY star had previously made about The Apprentice alumna not having "a real career."
"You get to walk around and be mediocre and you still get rewarded with things," Omarosa said during her interview. "[African-American women] have to be exceptional to get anything in this business."
CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER
After resigning (the White House claims she was fired) as President Trump's director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison in December 2017, Omarosa signed on to compete on Celebrity Big Brother. She memorably opened up to fellow contestant Ross Mathews about how "it's not going to be okay" having Trump in office.
"I felt like it was a call to duty, I felt like I was serving my country by serving him," Omarosa told Mathews of why she decided to work for the Trump administration. "It was always about the country. Like, I was haunted by tweets every single day. What is he gonna tweet next?"
MEET THE PRESS
After previously denying that she was fired from her position at the White House, Omarosa released a recording that allegedly proved Chief of Staff John Kelly not only fired her, but threatened her while doing so. She shared the recording on an August 2018 episode of Meet the Press.
In the recording, a man purported to be Kelly tells the former White House aide, "It is important to understand that if we can make this a friendly departure." Kelly adds that it would be necessary so that Omarosa could "go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation."
"It's very obvious[ly] a threat," Omarosa told host Chuck Todd. "He goes on to say that things can get ugly for you. The chief of staff of the United States under the direction of the president of the United States threatening me on damage to my reputation and things getting ugly for me — that’s downright criminal."
When Guthrie asked the former Trump aide why she worked for Trump, on top of a few other questions, Omarosa retorted, "Savannah, slow down. I'm gonna answer your question. Don't worry, I'm here. I've got all the time you need. You don't have to ask 10 questions in one second. It's okay."