Trump Campaign Threatens Lawsuit Against Ali Abassi’s ‘The Apprentice’

Trump Campaign Threatens Lawsuit Against Ali Abassi’s ‘The Apprentice’


Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is threatening a lawsuit against Ali Ablassi’s film The Apprentice, which debuted at Cannes this week to an 11-minute standing ovation.

Complaining about “blatantly false assertions from these pretend filmmakers,” campaign spokesperon Steven Cheung denounced the film, which traced ex-president Trump’s rise as a real-estate mogul with the help of the late Roy Cohn.

Cheung added that “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.”

In his condemnation, Cheung declared that “This ‘film’ is pure malicious defamation, should not see the light of day and doesn’t even deserve a place in the straight-to-DVD section of a bargain bin at a soon-to-be-closed discount movie store. It belongs in a dumpster fire.”


In The Apprentice, Sebastian Stan plays the part of the thirtysomething Donald Trump, while Jeremy Strong plays Cohn, who was counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy during his anti-Communist crusade in the 1950s.

The film also contains a controversial scene in which Trump is portrayed raping his then-wife Ivana, played by Maria Bakalova. Ivana, who died in 2022, accused Trump of the assault when she filed for divorce in 1990, but later said it was not meant to be taken literally–only as a description of how she felt violated.

At a press conference in Cannes, Abbasi pointed out that Trump typically threatens lawsuits but does not always follow through on them: “Everybody talks about him suing a lot of people — they don’t talk about his success rate though, you know?”

Abbasi also proposed screening the film for Trump and discussing its message in person. “I don’t necessarily think that this is a movie he would dislike,” said the director. “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.”


After the screening at Cannes, Abbasi told his audience that “there is no nice metaphorical way to deal with the rising wave of fascism.” He added 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.”

“In the time of turmoil, there’s this tendency to look inwards, to bury your head deep in the sand, look inside and hope for the best — hope for the best, hope for the storm to get away,” Abbasi declared. “But the storm is not going to get away. The storm is coming. The worst times are coming.”

Since The Apprentice does not yet have a distributor, it’s unclear when the film might be released in the United States.

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