Donald Trump (Getty/Rob Kim)

"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


Sophia Tesfaye
October 12, 2016 9:32PM (UTC)

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."

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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."

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Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia TesfayeFOLLOW @SophiaTesfaye

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