Donald Trump Made 'Sexual Comments' to Marlee Matlin and Lisa Rinna, 'Celebrity Apprentice' Contestant Claims

by Alex Ungerman 1:09 PM PDT, October 12, 2016
Playing Donald Trump Made 'Sexual Comments' to Marlee Matlin and Lisa Rinna, 'Celebrity Apprentice' Contestant Claims

A former Celebrity Apprentice contestant is not mincing words with how Donald Trump allegedly acted toward women behind the scenes.

Richard Hatch, who competed on season 11 of the NBC reality-competition show, alleges in a new interview with People that the 70-year-old Republican presidential nominee would regularly act inappropriately toward female contestants on the show, including Marlee Matlin and Lisa Rinna.

"Watching him in the boardroom making sexual comments ... to all of the women on the Apprentice, it was obvious that that’s just a part of who he is," Hatch claims to the publication. "It was obvious and it was grotesque. It was blatant and it was frequent. He did it with Lisa Rinna; He did it with Marlee Matlin. He did it with whomever happened to be there at the time."

EXCLUSIVE: Maria Kanellis on Donald Trump Firing Her From 'Celebrity Apprentice' for 'Locker Room' Talk

Hatch goes on to claim that with Matlin, "No matter how she responded, no matter how politely, he would push it a step further with comments about her looks, and how she was making him feel, and about what he thought of her, and how happy he would be to do something with her."

"It was a lot of innuendo, far beyond the norm," Hatch says, noting that Matlin, who is deaf, "was with her interpreter, Jack, and I thought, 'Gosh, I wonder if he’s comfortable with this?'"

Hatch later spoke to ET, recalling his "fascination" with watching Trump interact with the female contestants on Celebrity Apprentice. "He doesn’t engage with women normally," the reality star said. "I think he thinks he’s complimenting people, when he’s practically drooling. It’s really odd."

"My guess would be that he would describe it as flirting," he continued. "And I think Trump believes that his flirting, what he calls flirting, is something that he is entitled to do. I think any objective observer would consider it uncomfortably lewd."

WATCH: Mark Burnett Says He Cannot Release 'The Apprentice' Footage, But Isn't Threatening Litigation Against Leaks

And it seems Trump didn't have any qualms about having these interactions in front of his children, who frequently appeared on the reality show. "He did it in front of Ivanka," Hatch alleges. "It didn’t matter to him one bit that his daughter was listening in."

Hatch also said Donald Trump Jr., Trump's eldest son, was sometimes present. "I would watch Don and I thought, what does this say to him? Does he think about it? Does he say anything?"

ET has reached out to Matlin and Rinna.

"Marlee Matlin is such a nice person, and Mr. Trump has great respect for her, but this report is completely false," Trump's campaign told People in response to Hatch's claims. "Just take a look at Richard Hatch’s record, or lack thereof."

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Trump's attitude towards women has come under increased scrutiny following Friday's leak of a 2005 audio tape of the presidential candidate making disparaging remarks about women, including ET's Nancy O'Dell, with then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush, as well as bragging about having the ability to sexually assault women due to his celebrity status.

While Trump has repeatedly defended his past remarks as "locker room" talk, a re-surfaced clip of the third season of Celebrity Apprentice shows that he fired professional wrestler Maria Kanellis for that exact reason.

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"He fired me for what I said, and what he said was much worse so," Kanellis shared exclusively with ET in response to the now-infamous "Trump Tape." "My hope is that he gets fired as the Republican nominee."

Watch the video below for more of what Kanellis had to say.