Trump Campaign Threatens To Sue Over ‘The Apprentice’ Biopic 

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Iranian-Danish director Ali Abbasi attends a press conference for the film "The Apprentice" during the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 21, 2024. (Photo by Julie SEBADELHA / AFP) (Photo by JULIE SEBADELHA/AFP via Getty Images)
Iranian-Danish director Ali Abbasi attends a press conference for the film “The Apprentice” during the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 21, 2024. (Photo by Julie SEBADELHA / AFP) (Photo by JULIE SEBADELHA/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
5:03 PM – Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has threatened to sue the makers of the film The Apprentice, calling it “pure fiction.”

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Following its premiere on Monday at the Cannes Film Festival, Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesperson, said in a statement that the Trump team will file a lawsuit “to address the blatantly false assertions from these pretend filmmakers.”

“This garbage is pure fiction which sensationalizes lies that have been long debunked,” Cheung said.

Trump is portrayed by actor Sebastian Stan in The Apprentice. The movie centers on the relationship between Trump and Roy Cohn, portrayed by actor Jeremy Strong. Cohn is the defense lawyer who served as chief counsel for Joseph McCarthy during the Senate investigations of communist suspects in the 1950s.

When the film’s director, Ali Abbasi, was asked about the Trump campaign’s statement, he said, “Everybody talks about him suing a lot of people—they don’t talk about his success rate though, you know?”

Abbasi also expressed that he had offered to screen the film for the former GOP president in order to discuss the details further.

“I don’t necessarily think that this is a movie he would dislike,” said Abbasi. “I don’t necessarily think he would like it. I think he would be surprised, you know? And like I’ve said before, I would offer to go and meet him wherever he wants and talk about the context of the movie, have a screening and have a chat afterwards, if that’s interesting to anyone at the Trump campaign.”

In the movie, Cohn is Trump’s longtime mentor who teaches him about the brutality of New York City politics and business. Cohn had initially supported the Trump Organization during a federal government lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in housing.

The Apprentice, which claims to be based on actual events, presents Trump’s interactions with Cohn as a sort of Faustian bargain that aided in his ascent to prominence in both business and politics. Stan’s Trump character is an unsophisticated real estate entrepreneur at first, but Cohn’s training quickly changes him.

One of the biggest concerns regarding the movie revolves around a scene that depicts Trump raping his then-wife, Ivana Trump. She is played by actress Maria Bakalova. In a 1990 divorce deposition, the real Ivana Trump initially claimed that Trump had sexually assaulted her. However, she later clarified that she did not mean it literally, but rather, that she had felt “violated” in one instance. She later rescinded the comment in 2015 and the two stayed friends up until her death in 2022.

After the premiere, Abbasi addressed the Cannes audience, saying: “there is no nice metaphorical way to deal with the rising wave of fascism.”

“The good people have been quiet for too long,” he said. “So I think it’s time to make movies relevant. It’s time to make movies political again.”

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