|Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison|
January 20, 2017 – January 20, 2018
|Born||Omarosé Onée Manigault
February 5, 1974
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
|Domestic partner||Michael Clarke Duncan (2010–2012)|
Omarosé Onée Manigault-Newman[a] (born February 5, 1974), often referred to mononymously as Omarosa, is an American former reality television show participant and former political aide in the White House. She served as the director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison for the Trump administration.
Manigault was a contestant on the first season of Donald Trump's original American version of The Apprentice. She later returned for the television series sequel, Celebrity Apprentice and appeared on numerous other reality television shows. TV Guide included her in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest TV Villains of All Time.
Omarosé Onée Manigault was born in Youngstown, Ohio, the daughter of Theresa Marie (née Walker) and Jack Thomas Manigault Sr. Manigault's father was murdered when she was seven years old. 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, DC, to attend Howard University, where she earned a master's degree and worked toward a doctorate in communications but she did not finish. Manigault has also received biblical studies training at Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio.
In the 1990s, Manigault worked in the office of Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration. Manigault claimed that her title was initially Special Assistant of Logistics and that she later served as Deputy Associate Director of Presidential Personnel; however, according to an anonymous Gore staffer cited by People, her title was actually Scheduling Correspondent. Manigault, 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.
Manigault first came to public attention in 2004 after becoming a participant on NBC's reality television series, The Apprentice, starring business mogul and current 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" and was named by E! as reality TV's number one bad girl. Manigault 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. Manigault has also claimed the show's producers have manipulated footage of her to make her look like the villain.
In January 2008, Manigault 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 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.
In February 2013, Manigault returned to television and The Apprentice, appearing on Trump's All-Star Celebrity Apprentice. Manigault quickly marshalled 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 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 firing Manigault. 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, Manigault answered, "I felt like I was competing against Piers, as well as the other contestants." Manigault also noted that when she sees Morgan's show canceled in a year, it will be "the best revenge".
On The Oprah Winfrey Show, Manigault accused fellow Apprentice participant Ereka Vetrini of calling her the "n-word", a claim Vetrini has denied. Shortly after that appearance, Manigault failed to show up for a scheduled appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show after she reportedly objected upon seeing a polygraph machine.
Following her stint on Celebrity Apprentice: All Stars, Manigault lashed out at La Toya Jackson over Jackson's remarks that insinuated that Manigault had murdered her fiancé, Michael Clarke Duncan. Jackson made the remarks in Celebrity Apprentice confessionals and in following media interviews. Manigault said,
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.
During the Republican National Convention in July 2016, Manigault announced that she had been named Director of African-American Outreach for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. 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." Shortly after Donald Trump won the election, Manigault stated that Donald Trump has an "enemies" list of Republicans who voted against him in the presidential election.
In December 2016, Manigault was announced as one of the nine members to President-elect Donald Trump's transition team. In December 2016, Manigault 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 would join Trump's White House staff, focusing on public engagement. Her specific title was made public the next day as Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison. In her first interview after being named to the Trump 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.
In June 2017 Manigault signed an invitation for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to visit the White House as "the Honorable Omarosa Manigault". The use of the style the Honorable which is not usually given to political aides or used by the person styled as such to refer to him- or herself, was off-putting to some members of the CBC. The CBC ultimately declined the invitation. In August 2017, Manigault was on a panel about losing loved ones to violence at National Association of Black Journalists convention in New Orleans. She got into a shouting match with moderator and fellow panelist Ed Gordon because his questions to her focused on Trump's policies and not her personal history with losing family members to violence.
On December 13, 2017 the resignation of Manigault-Newman was announced from the White House, effective January 20, 2018. The United States Secret Service did not deny reports that Manigault-Newman had been forcibly removed from the White House grounds on December 12, but stated the agency was not involved in the termination process or escorting/removing Manigault-Newman from from the complex. The Secret Service's only involvement in the matter was to deactivate Manigault-Newman's access pass. CNN White House correspondent April Ryan reported that White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly fired Manigault-Newman, but Manigault-Newman disputed the account, stating that she resigned.
In 2000, Manigault married Aaron Stallworth and changed her last name to Manigault-Stallworth. They separated in 2005 and divorced later that year. She reverted to her surname, but eventually started using her first name mononymously.
In August 2009, Manigault 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. In February 2012, she was working on finishing her degree at Payne Theological Seminary. Manigault said on Oprah: Where Are They Now? that she is an ordained Baptist minister. In the segment, Manigault 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. Manigault 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 ...
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.
On August 13, 2010, Manigault 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 Duncan in cardiac arrest and performed CPR. Manigault was able to resuscitate him, however he never fully recovered from the heart attack and died on September 3, 2012, after a further two months in hospital.
On the April 2, 2013, episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, Manigault spoke about the night Duncan had the heart attack. Manigault 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, Manigault reported overhearing Duncan laboring to breathe. "And then I didn't hear anything," she recalled. When she realized Duncan wasn't breathing, Manigault "started doing CPR and trying to get 911 on the phone." In the midst of the frightening chaos, Manigault 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", Manigault said, "[but] after two months of fighting, he passed away."
Manigault married John Allen Newman on April 8, 2017, at Trump's Washington, DC, hotel, in the Presidential Ballroom of the Old Post Office Pavilion. Newman is the Senior Pastor of The Sanctuary at Mt. Calvary, a church in Jacksonville, Florida. After the wedding, Manigault took her bridal party to do a photo shoot in the White House, but she was unable to post her photos because of concerns over ethics and security.
|2004||The Apprentice (US season 1)||Eighth place|
|2004||Girls Behaving Badly||Season 4, episode 15|
|2005||Fear Factor||Fourth place|
|2005||The Surreal Life||Season 5|
|2008||The Apprentice (US season 7)||6th place|
|2009||The Great Debate||Commentary|
|2010||The Ultimate Merger||Host|
|2013||The Apprentice (US season 13)||Tenth place|
Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former "Apprentice" star turned aide to President Donald Trump, is resigning from her post as director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison. The White House said Wednesday that she would leave on Jan. 20, the anniversary of Trump's inauguration.
Ms. Newman was escorted off the premises on Tuesday night, one of the officials said. The Secret Service, in an unusual Twitter message, denied being a part of that. But the tweet added, “Our only involvement in this matter was to deactivate the individual’s pass which grants access to the complex." While she will be paid through Jan. 20, Ms. Newman is not expected to return to work, the officials said.
But CNN White House correspondent April Ryan says White House chief of staff John Kelly fired Omarosa, and that it didn’t go well.
“I resigned and I didn't do that in the residence as being reported. [White House chief of staff] John Kelly and I sat down in the situation room, which is a very secure, very quiet room in the White House and we had a very candid conversation,” Manigault Newman told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday.
Omarosa Manigault said Thursday that she was not fired and escorted off the White House grounds, blaming “one individual who has a personal vendetta against me” for the dramatic narrative of her departure as one of Trump's top aides.
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