This post was originally published as part of “The Trump Files“—a collection of telling episodes, strange but true stories, and curious scenes from the life of our current president—on August 19, 2016.
Donald Trump wasn’t the only celebrity with a show called The Apprentice. In fall 2005, media mogul Martha Stewart had a short-lived spin-off of the TV series. When Stewart’s show failed to be renewed for a second season because of low ratings, she blamed Trump for keeping his show on the air and taking away viewers from her version. Trump didn’t take too kindly to the comment, and in typical fashion, the billionaire fought back.
In an open letter, he called her performance “terrible,” said the show “lacked mood, temperament, and just about everything else a show needs for success,” and decried her “totally unconvincing demeanor.”
Stewart, in shock, responded to her “longtime friend,” calling his comments “mean-spirited and reckless.”
But Trump didn’t stop there. In an interview with Newsweek, he said, “What moron would think you’re going to fire the guy with the No. 1 show on television?” according to the New York Daily News.
Trump tried to calm things on Larry King Live the following month, saying, “I love her. She’s a wonderful woman. I wish her well.” But it doesn’t seem like Stewart was placated. Last fall, in an appearance on the late-night show Watch What Happens Live, Stewart resurrected her 10-year-old accusation against the current Republican presidential nominee.
“I was supposed to fire him on air,” she said. Stewart later added, “And then Donald liked it too much. And look at, you know, it’s fantastic for him. It’s built him a platform. So now he thinks he can be president.”