"Celebrity Apprentice" contestant fired for "locker room talk" calls Donald Trump a sexist hypocrite

"He fired me for what I said because I am a female," professional wrestler Maria Kanellis-Bennett said

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published October 12, 2016 5:32PM (EDT)

Donald Trump   (Getty/Rob Kim)
Donald Trump (Getty/Rob Kim)

A former "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant is calling reality-TV star turned Republican nominee for president Donald Trump a hypocrite for defending his 2005 comments describing sexual assault by dismissing the leaked tape "locker-room talk" -- when he fired her for just that.

2010 "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant and professional wrestler Maria Kanellis-Bennett was booted from the NBC hit for using language the real estate mogul apparently found vulgar. Kanellis-Bennett told one of her fellow contestants, celebrity chef Curtis Stone, "The reason why I said you were so arrogant was because you came in our dressing room and you took a crap and left the stench in the room."

Trump called the comment "below the belt" and disgusting, before declaring, "This is my boardroom. It's not a locker room. Maria, you're fired!" Watch the clip unearthed by "The Daily Show," below:

Kanellis-Bennett told the New York Daily News that she was forced by producers to apologize to Trump for her comments after her firing.

“I distinctly remember that after I said what I said, I was told I shouldn’t talk like that as a lady, and that, to me, was inequality at its best. I can’t speak my mind as a female, but he can speak his mind as a male. There’s a problem with that," she said.

"What I said is something that happens in the locker room, what he said is not. He fired me for what I said because I am a female," she told the Daily News.

"My hope is that he gets fired as the Republican nominee," Kanellis-Bennett told "Entertainment Tonight" after Trump's odious hot-mic moment on "Access Hollywood" was leaked to the Washington Post. "He fired me for what I said, and what he said was much worse."

"I don’t think that is locker-room talk. I have been in locker rooms for the past 12 years in wrestling companies,” she explained. “I have been backstage, I have been in green rooms and I have never heard anyone talk like that."

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Celebrity Apprentice Donald Trump Election 2016 Maria Kanellis-bennett Video