Omarosa Manigault

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Omarosa Manigault
Omarosa Manigault by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Personal details
Born Omarosé Onée Manigault
(1974-02-05) February 5, 1974 (age 43)
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Democratic (Before 2015)
Republican (2015–present)
Spouse(s) Aaron Stallworth (2000–2005)
John Newman (2017–present)
Domestic partner Michael Clarke Duncan
Education Central State University (BA)
Howard University (MA)
United Theological Seminary
Payne Theological Seminary

Omarosa Manigault /ˌɒməˈrsə ˈmænˌɡɔːlt/, often known and referred to simply as Omarosa (née Omarosé Onée Manigault; February 5, 1974)[1][2] is an American political aide in the White House. She is the director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison for president Trump's administration. Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Omarosa received a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Central State University, but did not complete her Ph.D. in communications from Howard University.[3]

Omarosa gained fame as a contestant on the first season of Donald Trump's original American version of The Apprentice.[4] She later returned for the television series sequel, Celebrity Apprentice and appeared on numerous other reality television shows.[5] TV Guide included her in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest TV Villains of All Time.[6]

Early life[edit]

Omarosa was born in Youngstown, Ohio, the daughter of Theresa Marie (née Walker) and Jack Thomas Manigault, Sr.[1] Omarosa's father was murdered when she was seven years old.[2][7] After graduating from The Rayen School in Youngstown, she earned a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism[8] in 1996 at Central State University[9][10] in Wilberforce, Ohio. She later moved to Washington, DC, to attend Howard University, where she earned a master's degree[10] and was working on a Ph.D. in communications.[11][12] Omarosa has also received Biblical Studies training at Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio.[13]


In the 1990s, Omarosa worked in the office of Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton Administration. Omarosa stated that her title was initially Special Assistant of Logistics and that she later served as Deputy Associate Director of Presidential Personnel. According to one anonymous Gore staffer cited by People magazine, her title was Scheduling Correspondent. Omarosa, who was 23 at the time, later stated the job had been "a very difficult environment, because they don't believe in training. They just kind of throw you in the fire." She was later transferred to the Commerce Department via the White House personnel office.[14]

Omarosa first came to public attention in 2004 after becoming a participant on NBC's reality television series, The Apprentice, starring business mogul and future president, Donald Trump. Stemming from her controversial, blindsiding, alienating, and acrimonious tactics of game play on The Apprentice (particularly in its boardroom segments), she soon became the "woman America loved to hate"[15] and was named by E! as reality TV's number one bad girl.[16] 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 is always seen as strong, but when a woman takes them on, it is seen negatively. Omarosa has also claimed the show's producers have manipulated footage of her to make her look like the villain.[15]

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.[17] On Celebrity Apprentice, she quickly became embroiled in a personal feud with Piers Morgan. She was eventually fired in the 10th 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.[18]

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.[19]

Celebrity Apprentice: All Stars[edit]

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, Lil Jon's Team was brought back to the boardroom after they lost. Piers Morgan, eager to take advantage of the opportunity to lobby against Omarosa, remarked "my argument against you has always been that you're not a celebrity... and you don't have star power." which led to a heated argument that resulted in Trump respectfully firing Omarosa.

Subsequent interviews[edit]

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".[20]

On The Oprah Winfrey Show, Omarosa accused fellow Apprentice participant Ereka Vetrini of calling her the "n-word", a claim Vetrini has denied.[21] Shortly after that appearance, Omarosa failed to show up for a scheduled appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show after she reportedly objected upon seeing a polygraph machine.[22]

Lawsuit against La Toya Jackson[edit]

Following her stint on Celebrity Apprentice: All Stars, Omarosa announced that she was in the process of suing La Toya Jackson over Jackson's 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.[23] In regard 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."[24] 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.

Donald Trump presidential campaign and administration[edit]

During the Republican National Convention in July 2016, Omarosa announced that she had been named Director of African-American Outreach for Donald Trump's presidential campaign.[25]

In September 2016, she said in an interview with Frontline: “Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”[26][27]

Shortly after Donald Trump won the election, Omarosa stated that Donald Trump has an "enemies" list of Republicans who voted against him in the presidential election.[28]

In December 2016, Omarosa was announced as one of the nine members to President-elect Donald Trump's transition team.[29] In December 2016, Omarosa accompanied former NFL stars Ray Lewis and Jim Brown to meet with President-elect Trump at Trump Tower.

On January 3, 2017 it was reported that Manigault will join Trump's White House staff, focusing on public engagement.[30] Her specific title was made public the next day as Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison.[12]

Previously Manigault described herself as a Democrat and during the administration of President Bill Clinton, she briefly worked in the White House office of Vice President Gore.[31][30] In her first interview after being named to the White House she told Megyn Kelly that she was a "Trumplican", and had switched her political affiliation to the Republican Party. She hopes more African Americans will follow her lead and do the same, given how she believes Democrats take African American voters for granted, making empty promises to them.[32]

Omarosa made a guest appearance on ABC's The View, which aired on January 27, 2017. She was involved in a verbal exchange with Joy Behar about the Donald Trump administration.[33][34]

In early February 2017, an American Urban Radio Networks White House reporter April Ryan made a series of serious claims about Omarosa's treatment of her while talking in the reporter's reception area of the White House.[35] One claim was that Omarosa stated that the Trump Administration was keeping a dossier on Ryan.[35][36] Unknown to Ryan a tape was made of the whole conversation and Ryan is upset that the tape exists and feels that it was acquired without her consent, even though District of Columbia law does not require her consent.[35] Two White House reporters overheard the conversation, Abby Phillip of the Washington Post and John Roberts of Fox News, and neither of the reporters corroborated Ryan's claims. Roberts denied that the event rose to the level of a “confrontation” and saying he did not hear the word “dossier.”[35]

Personal life[edit]

Omarosa married John Allen Newman on April 8, 2017, at Trump's Washington DC hotel, in the Presidential Ballroom of the Old Post Office Pavilion.[37] Newman is the Senior Pastor of The Sanctuary at Mt. Calvary, a church in Jacksonville, Florida.[37][38]

Omarosa had an older sister, Gladys Louise Manigault, who died in February 2016.[citation needed] Her older brother Jack Thomas Manigault, Jr. was murdered in 2011.[39][40][41]

In 2000, Omarosa married Aaron Stallworth and changed her last name to Manigault-Stallworth. They separated in 2005 and later divorced.[42] She reverted her surname, but eventually took her first name as a mononym.[43][44]

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.[45][46] In July 2012, she found Duncan in cardiac arrest and performed CPR. Omarosa was able to resuscitate him.[47] He never fully recovered from the heart attack, and died on September 3, 2012, after having spent two months in the hospital.[48]

On an April 2, 2013, episode of Where Are They Now on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, Omarosa spoke about 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 "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."[49]

Omarosa also said on Where Are They Now that she is an ordained Baptist minister. In the segment, Omarosa said 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. Omarosa said, of her interaction with the little girl, "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."[50]

In August 2009, Omarosa enrolled at the United Theological Seminary in Ohio to pursue a Doctor of Ministry degree.[51] 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.[52] In February 2012 she was working on finishing her degree at Payne Theological Seminary.[52]


Year Show Notes
2004 The Apprentice (U.S. season 1) 8th place
2004 Girls Behaving Badly Season 4 Episode 15
2005 Fear Factor 4th place
2005 The Surreal Life Season 5
2008 The Apprentice (U.S. season 7) 6th place
2009 The Great Debate Commentary
2010 The Ultimate Merger Host
2013 The Apprentice (U.S. season 13) 10th place


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