How Trump's Team Slammed His Portrayal In The Apprentice Movie

The following article includes mention of sexual assault. 

"The Apprentice" got a ton of praise at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, but not everyone is a fan. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump's team has clapped back at the film in a very big way — even going so far as threatening legal action.

As many will know, "The Apprentice," which stars "Pam and Tommy" alum, Sebastian Stan, takes a look at Trump in the 1970s and 1980s. At the time of writing, no trailer, nor any footage has been released to the public. That said, its release at Cannes has certainly seen the film praised by critics. In fact, that may even be a bit of an understatement: the film is said to have received applause lasting no less than 11 minutes. 

Enter, a not-so-happy Trump. In a statement to Deadline, Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump's campaign, slammed the film (shocker) and claimed they were planning on suing (also not a shocker). "We will be filing a lawsuit to address the blatantly false assertions from these pretend filmmakers," Cheung said. For anyone scratching their heads over how the film's director, Ali Abbasi, is a "pretend filmmaker," Cheung went on to make the very bold claim that "The Apprentice" was actually spearheaded by Trump's haters. "This is election interference by Hollywood elites, who know that President Trump will retake the White House and beat their candidate of choice because nothing they have done has worked," he said. Fake filmmakers, Hollywood elites, and election interference — oh, my!

One scene in particular is upsetting Donald Trump

With "The Apprentice" not yet released to the public, it's not clear what, exactly, Donald Trump's camp is referring to in the film as "false." However, all signs seem to point to a scene that portrays a sexual assault allegation previously made against the former president by his first wife, Ivana Trump.

As noted in a 2015 report by The Daily Beast, Harry Hurt III's 1993 biography, "Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump," revealed that in the midst of their divorce, Ivana had alleged in a deposition that she'd been violently sexually assaulted by the businessman. It is worth noting that the book came with a disclaimer from Ivana, who claimed in a statement by way of her ex-husband's legal team that it hadn't been sexual assault. Rather, she claimed, it had been a sexual experience devoid of love. "As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense," she said. Several years down the line, in an interview with Time, Ivana seemed to double down on that. "That was all just the lawyers' talk," she told the outlet. 

"The Apprentice" clearly threatens to bring up the allegations once again, hence Donald's team's plans to sue. However, one person who isn't fazed is Ali Abbasi.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

'The Apprentice' filmmaker isn't bothered by Trump's response

The statement by Donald Trump's spokesperson over "The Apprentice" may come across as threatening, but the film's director isn't at all worried. In fact, as evidenced by his statement to Associated Press, the opposite is true — and he even poked fun at Trump's track record with lawsuits. "Everybody talks about him suing a lot of people. They don't talk about his success rate, though," he quipped. 

Abbasi also pointed out that there was a chance Trump hadn't even seen the film for himself, and that he may actually have a different take if he did. "I don't necessarily think that this is a movie that, you know, he would dislike. I don't necessarily think he would like it ... I think he would be surprised," the filmmaker mused. He added that if the former president was open to it, he'd be happy to do a screening with him, and even chat about it, face to face. Something tells us Trump isn't likely to take him up on the offer, but snaps for the gesture. 

At the time of writing, there has been no official release date for "The Apprentice." In fact, the film doesn't even have a distributor yet. As such, it'll be a while until curious moviegoers get a chance to see it. However, we're not banking on Trump and his team getting tickets. After all, if it's been made by a "fake filmmaker," what's the point, right?