The Daily Beast dug up more bad behavior from Donald Trump committed the set of NBC’s The Apprentice.
Oscar nominee Gary Busey allegedly sexually assaulted a female Apprentice employee during his time on the show, five Apprentice employees tell The Daily Beast. Donald Trump knew about the incident, laughed it off, and kept Busey on his TV series, these staffers said.
Multiple Apprentice employees, including the alleged victim herself, told The Daily Beast that the Academy Award-nominated actor “grabbed” one of their colleagues “firmly between [the] legs” during the 2011 season of Celebrity Apprentice. Busey also forcibly put the female staffer’s hand on the crotch of his pants. The alleged incident, which they say took place during a location shoot in SoHo in New York City, prompted a firestorm among members of the Apprentice crew.
The victim is speaking anonymously due to the strict non-disclosure agreement she signed with the show:
“They had booze for the party, I think Lil Jon ordered it,” she said. “And so, a few of the celebrities wanted to do a shot together after we finished [setting up] for the show. We all took a shot together, and then went to stand together for B-roll time.
“We were smoking cigarettes outside, and Busey was standing next to me. And then at one point, he grabbed me firmly between my legs, and ran his hand up my stomach, and grabbed my breasts,” she continued. “I didn’t know what to do. So I made this joke that, ’Oh, I’ve never been sexually harassed by a celebrity before!’ Then he grabbed my hand and put it [over] his penis, and said, like, ‘I’m just getting started, baby.’”
She added, “Then my friend jumped in between [me and Busey] and put his hand on Busey’s chest.”
Crew members were so upset that news of the incident made it all the way up the chain of command of producers and managers. When Trump heard about it, he gave Busey “little more than a chuckle and a soft slap on the wrist.” Busey was allowed to remain on the show until he was “fired” in sixth place. The alleged victim did not push the matter further because she feared for her livelihood. She calls out Trump for his constant “disgusting” behavior and describes him as a “monster.” She also claims the set was a horrible, toxic place due to the rampant secual harrassment.
“Gary, did you do a bad thing… [and] got your hands where they’re not supposed to be,” the Apprentice staff member recalls Trump as saying, noting that the two of them were “yukking” it up as Trump was supposedly disciplining him. Another staffer recalled Trump calling Busey a “bad boy, a very bad boy.”
It appears that producers, including Mark Burnett, knew about the incident but failed to address the issue.
“The production team knew. This was a big thing for a while [on the show]… My part of the crew wanted [Busey] kicked off the show.”
Other incidents the Daily Beast reports happening on the set of the Apprentice include:
As The Daily Beast previously reported, that was the season Trump repeatedly mocked deaf Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin as being mentally “retarded.” (A campaign spokesperson later said that was “untrue.”) Regarding that same year, Richard Hatch, another contestant on the show, claimed Trump made sexist remarks to Matlin and another contestant, Lisa Rinna. In a subsequent season, Trump also repeatedly called rapper and contestant Lil Jon an “Uncle Tom.”
The Associated Press also talked to crew members who reported multiple instances of aggressive and sexist behavior from Trump. And famed lawyer Gloria Allred held a press conference with a former contestant who claims Trump assaulted her at the Beverly Hills Hotel.