Trump campaign threatens to sue over portrayal in biopic ‘The Apprentice’

Film portrays former president’s rise as real estate tycoon

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Tuesday 21 May 2024 08:44 BST
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From Meryl Streep, Mad Max, #Metoo and Messi the dog: The talk of the town at Cannes Film Festival

The Trump campaign has threatened to sue the filmmakers of The Apprentice, a biopic about the former president’s early days as a New York City real estate developer, calling the movie a “pure fiction.”

“We will be filing a lawsuit to address the blatantly false assertions from these pretend filmmakers,” Trump campaign chief spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement to Variety.

“This garbage is pure fiction which sensationalizes lies that have been long debunked. As with the illegal Biden Trials, this is election interference by Hollywood elites, who know that President Trump will retake the White House and beat their candidate of choice because nothing they have done has worked.”

The film, directed by Ali Abbasi, features Sebastian Stan playing a young Donald Trump as he rises through the business world.

The story centers on his relationships with his first wife, Ivana Trump, and the lawyer and fixer Roy Cohn, played by Succession’s Jeremy Strong.

The Independent has contacted the producers of The Apprentice film for comment.

The biopic reportedly contains a variety of unflattering scenes involving Mr Trump, featuring him using drugs and getting cosmetic surgery.

Most controversially, according to Variety, the film shows Mr Trump raping Ms Trump.

(In a 1989 divorse deposition, Ms Trump accused Mr Trump of raping her, but she later disavowed the allegation.)

The Trump campaign aren’t the only ones upset at the film’s content.

Dan Snyder, the former owner of the Washington Commanders, reportedly invested in the film via the company Kinematics but later took issue with its portrayal of Mr Trump, a personal associate and recipient of various campaign donations.

The Apprentice premiered publically on Monday at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

The film reportedly received an eight-minute ovation.

Mr Abbasi, the director, told the audience that he hoped his film would be “relevant” to the times.

“There is no nice metaphorical way to deal with the rising wave of fascism. There’s only the messy way. There’s only the the banal way,” he said.

“There’s only the way of dealing with this wave on its own terms, at its own level and it’s not going to be pretty, but I think the problem with the world is that the good people have been quiet for too long. So, I think it’s time to make movies relevant. It’s time to make movies political again.”

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