That Time Donald Trump Said He Wanted To Put O.J. Simpson On ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

“There’s a thing called ratings,” Trump said at the time.

Donald Trump’s bizarre effort to get O.J. Simpson on “Celebrity Apprentice” is getting another look after the infamous football star’s death.

Several outlets rehashed Trump’s July 2008 interview with Howard Stern in which he rationalized the attempt in the name of ratings. (Watch the video below.)

Simpson was pretty much a pariah after his controversial acquittal for the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. (He was later found liable for their deaths in a civil trial.) The disgraced sports icon had even been arrested for his involvement in an armed robbery just months before Trump spoke with Stern. (Simpson would later be convicted and spend nine years in prison.)

But the then-reality show host and future president was apparently undeterred.

“I do have to tell you about O.J. and ‘The Apprentice,’” Trump said, per CNN. “NBC went totally crazy when I wanted to put O.J. on ‘The Apprentice.’”

“Why would you put him on The Apprentice?” Stern asked.

“Well, you know, in your business, there’s a thing called ratings,” Trump replied.

“I know this: If I put O.J. on, huge ratings,” Trump continued.

“You’ll have the biggest season ever,” Stern interjected.

“Oh, forget it, 35 million people,” Trump continued. “O.J. would have done it.”

Trump balked at answering when Stern asked him if he spoke to Simpson about the gig.

“I hadn’t spoken to him in years. I don’t like people that kill their wives,” Trump said, per Mediaite. “Does that make sense? Does that make me a disloyal person?”

It turns out that Trump had recent contact with Simpson, according to NBC.

Months earlier, a network spokesperson said Trump and Simpson had a conversation, but she wasn’t aware of the “outcome.” She was clear on the network’s stance, however.

“NBC representatives have never considered O.J. Simpson for the next season of ‘The Apprentice,’ nor will,” the spokesperson said.

Trump and Simpson were once friends. He invited Simpson to his December 1993 wedding to Marla Maples. In June 1994, the Pro Football Hall of Famer’s ex-wife and Goldman were stabbed to death.

For a snippet of Trump and Stern’s conversation, fast-forward to 1:00:

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