During a 2009 taping of “Celebrity Apprentice,” Donald Trump made disparaging remarks about Khloe Kardashian’s weight before firing her from the program, several people who worked on the reality show told The Huffington Post.
Trump’s remarks were delivered off camera and before the show’s pivotal boardroom scene where he dismisses the episode’s poorest performer with his famous catchphrase: “You’re fired!” According to sources on the show, Trump complained to producers about Kardashian’s looks and itched to have her removed from the show.
“He basically wanted to just get rid of her,” an editor on the show recalled. “He called her a ‘piglet.’” The editor said that Trump asked: “What is this? We can’t even get the hot one?” ― in reference to Kardashian’s sister, Kim.
A second source at “The Apprentice” confirmed the incident, using similar words to describe what Trump said about the Kardashians. “He said: ‘Why don’t we fire Khloe? She is a fat piglet. Why did we get the ugly Kardashian?’”
A third source, another editor, recalled the firing as being notable because of how personal Trump made it. “When they fired [her], it wasn’t on merit,” the editor said. “It was on him not liking her.” The editor said that Trump went to the staff and asked: “What’s the reason we can get her off [the show]?”
The Trump campaign did not return a request for comment. But his alleged disparagement of Kardashian fits a pattern of boorish behavior he reportedly engaged in when “The Apprentice” cameras weren’t rolling. Earlier this week, HuffPost reported a transcript from an unaired moment in which Trump ridiculed a young country music singer’s skin, saying she needed “some serious fuckin’ dermatology.” On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that Trump repeatedly described deaf actress and former “Apprentice” star Marlee Matlin as “retarded.”
Other editors who worked on the reality TV show described Trump as “misogynistic” and an “egomaniac,” who was constantly sizing women up who appeared at his boardroom sessions.
Trump’s distaste for certain contestants was often expressed out in the open, sources at “The Apprentice” told HuffPost. And in the case of Kardashian, it forced a scrambling of the entire show. According to a fourth source who worked on the show, Trump improvised the reason for her “firing,” pinning it on the fact that she had to go to Los Angeles for court-mandated classes related to a prior DUI incident. The business mogul claimed to be caught unaware that Kardashian had to leave ― even though, the source said, it was common for celebrities to have “carve-outs” in their contracts that allowed a short time off from filming.
With the cameras rolling, Trump criticized Kardashian for the DUI, noting his own brother’s struggle with alcoholism as well as the experiences of friends who had lost loved ones in drunk driving accidents.
Kardashian, whose spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment, expressed shock at the time of her dismissal from “The Apprentice.” Passionate watchers of the show noted that, years earlier, Trump had made a public spectacle of “pardoning” Miss USA Tara Conner after she’d been reportedly using drugs and alcohol.
“It was absolutely ridiculous,” the source said of Trump’s dismissal of Kardashian. “To make a twist like that made no sense.”
Years later, Trump would sour on Kim Kardashian as well, ridiculing the weight she had gained during her pregnancy in an interview with HLN’s Showbiz Tonight.
“She’s gotten a little bit large,” he said of the star, who was expecting daughter North West at the time. “I would say this, I don’t think you should dress like you weigh 120 pounds.”
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Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.