Jennifer Murphy Named in Trump Apprentice “Tell-All” Book 

Joe Seer /
Joe Seer /

It’s easy to forget that before former President Donald Trump’s 2015 escalator ride into the national spotlight, he was the host of the hit reality show The Apprentice. 

The Apprentice aired for fifteen seasons on NBC from 2004 to 2017, with Trump hosting the first fourteen seasons. Created by British producer Mark Burnett and co-produced with Donald Trump, the show evaluated the business skills of contestants through various tasks such as selling products, raising money for charity, and creating advertising campaigns. The winner received a one-year, $250,000 contract to promote one of Trump’s properties. Each episode typically ended by eliminating one contestant, marked by Trump’s iconic phrase, “You’re fired!”  

Notable winners include Bill Rancic, who became a successful entrepreneur and TV personality; Kelly Perdew, who founded several companies and worked in venture capital; Sean Yazbeck, who pursued a career in real estate and hospitality; and Leeza Gibbons, a well-known TV host and philanthropist. 

Now, Trump is being accused of having an “abnormal fixation” on Season 4 contestant Jennifer Murphy. The allegations are revealed in “Apprentice in Wonderland,” a tell-all book by Variety’s Editor-in-Chief Ramin Setoodeh. 

It’s a heard-it-from-a-friend-who-heard-it-from-a-friend revelation, as recounted by fellow season four contestant Randal Pinkett. Per Pinkett, Trump “openly bragged” about wanting to have a relationship with Murphy. Pinkett noted that, among the men on the show, Trump would comment about how “hot” Murphy was and express his desire to “sleep with her.” 

Before Jennifer Murphy, 45, became a contestant on the fourth season of The Apprentice in 2005, she participated in the Trump-owned Miss USA pageant system. Murphy, who won the Miss Oregon USA title in 2003, met Trump during the 2004 Miss USA pageant. Although she didn’t win, Trump approached her afterward, telling her she was his “favorite” but that he couldn’t influence the judging. Murphy used this encounter to pursue a spot on The Apprentice, a show she “loved.” 

“He said, ‘You’d be great. Here’s my card. Make sure to call me. I’ll make it happen,'” she recalls, though she lost his card that night. Despite this, she still auditioned for the show and eventually got cast. As a finalist, Murphy and four other women were taken to a sequestered hotel room where they unexpectedly encountered Donald Trump. Murphy says Trump, who didn’t know she’d be there, recognized her from the pageant and greeted her warmly. “The other women were pissed,” she recalls. 

Murphy was ultimately fired that season, a decision she claimed Trump said was out of his hands. However, He told her he still wanted to hire her and offered her two jobs. Murphy turned down both job offers to move to Los Angeles and pursue an acting career. One night, when Trump was in town, he called and asked her to meet him in his room at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Murphy declined. 

Later, Murphy did call in some favors from Trump. She requested to get married at one of his properties and received a 20 percent discount on the total bill. She also arranged for Access Hollywood to cover her July 2006 wedding with segments narrated by Billy Bush and Nancy O’Dell. Murphy asked Trump if he would tape one of the spots with her, which he agreed to do. Although he initially said he only had 15 minutes, he stayed much longer. 

While Murphy might have jumped on the same narrative that E. Jean Carroll and Stormy Daniels created, she has declined to do so. In fact, she looks back affectionately on the bond she and Trump shared. She still maintains that Trump regarded her as a daughter, although she feels he did have an attraction to her. She recalls that after a private meeting in his office, Trump escorted Murphy to the elevator, where he kissed her, a gesture she accepted without objection. Murphy has repeatedly said she was not offended by the kiss. 

After maintaining contact for a period, the pair’s relationship turned sour when Murphy publicly disagreed with Trump’s approach to Rosie O’Donnell. Trump subsequently declined an invitation to her movie premiere. They ceased communication until after Murphy’s divorce in 2007, when she visited Trump’s office unannounced, leading to a reconnection.  

Murphy admires Trump’s assertiveness and ability to accomplish goals, but she clarifies that she never felt a romantic attraction to him. She respects what Trump represents, both presently and in the past, and plans to vote for him in November. 

Murphy has no plans to cash in on her relationship with Trump. She has refused to turn her Trump memories into a scandal, but she doesn’t need to. The mainstream media will do it for her.