·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Verdicts & Settlements

Former “Apprentice” Contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman Beats Trump in Arbitration

— September 29, 2021

The former “Apprentice” contestant and her attorney won a ruling which found that Trump’s nondisclosure agreement is unenforceable.

A New York arbitrator has found that former President Donald Trump’s nondisclosure agreement with Apprentice contestant and White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman is “unenforceable.”

According to NBC News, arbitrator T. Andrew Brown found that the terms of the agreement are “highly problematic,” since they did not adhere to typical legal standards. The contract, said Brown, was “vague, indefinite, and therefore void and unenforceable.”

“The Agreement effectively imposes on [Manigault Newman] an obligation to never say anything remotely critical of Mr. Trump, his family or his or his family members’ businesses for the rest of her life,” he said.

Manigault Newman and her attorney were quick to celebrate the victory.

“Clearly, I am very happy with this ruling,” Manigault Newman said on Tuesday. “Donald has used this type of vexatious litigation to intimidate, harass and bully for years. Finally, the bully has met his match!”

A gavel. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/user: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Her attorney, John Phillips, said he was pleased to have beaten the former president’s legal challenge.

“It’s over,” Phillips said. “We’ve won in Donald Trump and the Trump Campaign’s chosen forum.”

Phillips said the ruling should encourage other people who may feel trapped by similar non-disclosure agreements.

“I think that does it for all of them,” he said. “I hope people who have these NDAs […] read these opinions and realize they shouldn’t be so scared.”

Trump, says CNBC, is well-known for his “extensive use of NDAs,” which can be litigated outside of courtrooms.

While arbitration provides no guaranteed outcome, it typically favors whichever party has more resources and created the contract.

“As a lawyer, this was an unimaginable case—a United States President abusing the Constitution and Bill of Rights without outrageously unenforceable non-disclosure agreements,” Phillips told CNBC in an email. “Since Omarosa came forward, and was sued, we’ve said this agreement was illegal and offensive. It took too long to finally get past the frivolous defenses, experts and lawyers like Charles Harder billing the Campaign millions of dollars while free speech was stigmatized.”

CNBC notes that the Trump campaign took Manigault Newman to arbitration after she released the book “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.”

Manigault Newman, adds CNBC, had garnered some notoriety for playing a villain-type role on the first season of Trump’s reality T.V. show, The Apprentice.

Trump reacted to the ruling by issuing a statement of his own, in which he criticized Manigault Newman’s motivations and took credit for her success.

“I gave Omarosa three attempts at The Apprentice and she failed,” Trump said. “At least now I Don’t have to let her fail anymore.”

“Nobody in her life has done more for Omarosa than a man named Donald Trump,” he added. “Unfortunately, like certain others, she forgot all about that—which is fine with me!”


‘Apprentice’ star, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman beats Trump in arbitration fight over book

Join the conversation!