February 15, 1974 |
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
|Residence||Beverly Hills, California|
|Education||B.A. Broadcast Journalism
Central State University
|Known for||Reality TV participant|
|Spouse(s)||Aaron Stallworth (2000–2005)|
Omarosa (born Omaroseonee Manigault, February 15, 1974) is a American reality game show and reality show personality. She was a contestant on the first season of Donald Trump's original American version of The Apprentice. She later returned for the TV series sequel, Celebrity Apprentice, and the All-Stars edition of the show. TV Guide included her in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.
Omarosa was born in Youngstown, Ohio. Her father is of Yoruba Nigerian descent. After graduating from The Rayen School in Youngstown, she earned a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism in 1996 at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. She later moved to Washington, D.C. in order to attend Howard University, where she pursued both a master's degree and a Ph.D. in communications.
Omarosa worked in the office of then-Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton Administration as a scheduling correspondent. Omarosa has since falsely inflated her role in interviews to have the title Deputy Associate Director of Presidential Personnel. According to a People magazine article, she was transferred due to disruptive behavior.
In August 2009, Omarosa enrolled at the United Theological Seminary in Ohio to pursue a Doctor of Ministry degree. She received a preacher's license in February 2011 from her church (Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California) and was formally ordained on February 27, 2012. As of February 2012, she was working on finishing her degree at Payne Theological Seminary.
Omarosa first came to public attention in 2004 after becoming a participant on NBC's reality TV Series, The Apprentice, produced by Mark Burnett, and starring business mogul Donald Trump. Stemming from her controversial, blindsiding, alienatory, and acrimonious tactics of game play on The Apprentice (particularly in its boardroom segments), she soon became the "woman America loved to hate" and was named by E! as reality TV's No. 1 bad girl. Omarosa has disagreed with the "villain" label, rather believing herself to be "a shrewd businesswoman", asserting that when a male takes on such characteristics, it's always seen as strong, but when a woman takes on as such, it's seen as a negative. Omarosa has also claimed the show's producers have manipulated footage of her to make her look like the villain.
Since her participation on the first season of The Apprentice, Omarosa has appeared on more than 20 other reality shows, including VH1's fifth season of The Surreal Life, NBC's Fear Factor (coming in fourth place in the final challenge), and Oxygen's prank show Girls Behaving Badly. She has also been a guest on several talk shows, including a controversial appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. It was on Winfrey's show where Omarosa accused fellow Apprentice participant Ereka Vetrini of calling her the "n-word", a claim Vetrini has denied. Shortly after that appearance, Omarosa failed to show up for a scheduled appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! after she reportedly objected upon seeing a polygraph machine.
In January 2008, Omarosa was invited to the first season of The Apprentice's sequel show, Celebrity Apprentice. she became the only former Apprentice participant to be invited back to the series. On Celebrity Apprentice, she quickly became embroiled in a personal feud with Piers Morgan. She was eventually fired in the tenth episode, after serving as the project manager of the team that, according to Trump, suffered "the biggest slaughter in the history of The Apprentice" in a challenge to sell artwork against a team led by Morgan. She raised $49,000 in total for her charity.
In June 2010, Omarosa and Donald Trump collaborated again to create a new dating show called The Ultimate Merger, which included R&B singer and producer Al B. Sure! as one of the contestants. The show aired on TV One.
Celebrity Apprentice: All Stars
In February 2013, Omarosa returned to television and The Apprentice, appearing on Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice All-Stars." Omarosa quickly marshaled her team to an early victory on the show, winning a task involving the creation of a photo booth at Universal Orlando. In a later episode Omarosa and Dennis Rodman were brought back to the boardroom after their team, led by rapper Lil Jon, lost. Rodman sharply stood up to Omarosa which led to a heated argument that resulted in Trump respectfully firing Omarosa.
On Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, when asked by Jimmy Fallon whether or not she felt the show set her up by having Piers Morgan act as one of the judges, Omarosa answered, "I felt like I was competing against Piers as well as the other contestants." Omarosa also noted that when she sees Morgan's show canceled in a year, it will be “the best revenge.”
Lawsuit against La Toya Jackson
Following her stint on Celebrity Apprentice: All Stars, Omarosa announced that she was in the process of suing La Toya Jackson over Jackson's backbiting remarks that insinuated that Omarosa had murdered her fiancé, Michael Clarke Duncan. Jackson made the remarks in Celebrity Apprentice confessionals and in following media interviews. In regards to her suit against Jackson, Omarosa has stated, "I've been in reality TV for a very long time, and I think that those were probably some of the most disgusting, despicable statements I've ever heard. And it will go down as some of the ugliest comments ever spoken on reality TV, but I have an incredible legal team who I've handed that all over to, and I'm sure they will handle her accordingly." It was even brought up in the live finale episode of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. However, Omarosa has not followed through with filing suit against La Toya Jackson.
In 2000, Omarosa married Aaron Stallworth and changed her last name to Manigault-Stallworth. They separated in 2005 and later divorced. She reverted her surname but eventually took her first name as a mononym.
On an April 2, 2013, episode of Where Are They Now on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, Omarosa revealed that she was an ordained Baptist minister. In the segment, Omarosa revealed that she was brought to the decision after traveling to West Africa where she found herself alone in an orphanage with a little girl dying of AIDS. Said Omarosa, “It was at that moment, looking into the face, in the eyes of this dying child that I received my call to the ministry. Upon returning to the United States, I put reality television on hold. I put everything on hold and returned to seminary full-time.” Omarosa added, "There were people who felt like because I had done the show so many years ago that maybe that disqualified me from the ministry. I’m not really certain. But boy did I hear from the critics, and to them I have to say that they underestimate the power of God’s ability to transform a person’s life.”
Relationship to and loss of partner
On August 13, 2010, Omarosa confirmed that she was dating actor Michael Clarke Duncan, whom she had met in the produce section of a Whole Foods supermarket. In July 2012, she found that Duncan was suffering a heart attack and attempted to perform CPR. It is unknown if Duncan regained consciousness from her CPR or the efforts of the EMS. He never fully recovered from the heart attack, and died on September 3, 2012, after having spent two months in the hospital.
On an April 2, 2013, episode of Where Are They Now on Oprah Winfrey's network, Omarosa revealed additional details of the night Duncan had the heart attack. Omarosa reported that she usually went to bed later than Duncan. At some point during one evening while she was still up and Duncan was in bed, Omarosa reported overhearing Duncan laboring to breathe. "And then I didn't hear anything," she recalled. When she realized Duncan wasn't breathing, Omarosa jumped into action. "I started doing CPR and trying to get 911 on the phone." In the midst of the frightening chaos, Omarosa stated she also turned to God for support: "I just started praying. I prayed like I have never prayed before," she said. The paramedics were able to get Duncan's heart started again and rushed him to the hospital. "He fought," Omarosa said, "[But] after two months of fighting, he passed away."
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