The Associated Press has accused Donald Trump of making lewd and sexist comments about women while he was the TV boss on the NBC reality show The Apprentice. The accusations come at a time when Trump is embroiled in controversies involving women he publicly insulted.
The AP interviewed nearly two dozen people, including crew members, editors, and contestants, who all recounted similar experiences with Trump. Twelve of them spoke on the record. They described a man who did not treat women professionally and made inappropriate comments that embarrassed and demeaned them.
In a statement, Trump press secretary Hope Hicks denied the charges: “These outlandish, unsubstantiated, and totally false claims fabricated by publicity hungry, opportunistic, disgruntled former employees, have no merit whatsoever.”
Marshawn Evans, a former Apprentice contestant and Miss America runner-up, experienced some of Trump’s questionable behavior while competing on the reality show that helped launch the self-proclaimed billionaire’s political career. She told Roland Martin on NewsOne Now that during The Apprentice, “There was an expectation and an understanding and actually we were encouraged to be sexy, to be stylish, if you will. It’s not the same type of expectation you would have in working for a job.”
The former Apprentice contestant said Trump “always made comments about women” and added the reality show star turned presidential candidate “has more in common with Hugh Hefner than he does with Bloomberg or Warren Buffett.
“He loves casinos, loves women, and he loves money, and that’s always who he’s been,” she explained.
“What’s making him successful in this campaign – if you call it success – I think it’s dangerous. He’s an expert marketer. He’s an expert at publicizing himself,” said Evans. “He shares that in common with Kim Kardashian and in this entertainment driven society, I think what we really have to look at is what’s the danger of Kardashianism-styled leadership.”
Evans continued, “When you look at Donald Trump interrupting Hillary Clinton over fifty times … it shows that they’re going backwards in terms of whether or not women’s views are going to be even listened to.”
Watch Roland Martin and Marshawn Evans discuss the behavior Donald Trump has exhibited during The Apprentice in the video clip above.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty