Trump ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ tapes subject of deal in fraud case

Tribune Content Agency

NEW YORK — Unaired raw footage from Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” will be handed over in a lawsuit against the president and his three oldest children after a deal was reached between the plaintiffs and the Hollywood studio that owns the tapes.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer said in a Friday letter to the judge in the case that it had reached a deal on how to carry out her order from earlier this month. U.S. District Court Judge Lorna Schofield in New York had asked the company to come up with a way to search hundreds of hours of footage pertaining to two episodes in 2009 and 2011 in which the principals of multilevel marketing company ACN Opportunity LLC appeared as guests.

It will be the first time outsiders get a chance to view at least some parts of Trump’s reality TV shows that weren’t publicly broadcast. There have been numerous unsuccessful efforts to gain access to footage from the shows in which Trump purportedly uses racial epithets, including actor Tom Arnold’s TV series “The Hunt for the Trump Tapes.”

The tapes at issue in the ACN case are different though. According to the 2018 lawsuit, Trump and his three oldest children promoted ACN from 2005 and 2015 without disclosing that they were being paid millions of dollars to do so. The plaintiffs say they invested in becoming independent sellers of an ACN desktop video phone service after Trump promoted it on his show and at numerous events, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars when the technology was eclipsed by smartphones.

The Trumps have all denied wrongdoing.

MGM said the agreement covered any footage of the Trumps interacting with ACN agents or discussing its products, as well as any footage of the Trumps being directed about what to say about ACN, according to the filing. “Plaintiffs and the MGM Entities are working cooperatively to identify such footage for ease of review,” the letter said, adding that “asset lists” for the relevant episodes would be provided by April 28.


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