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Judge orders MGM to give 'Celebrity Apprentice' footage in civil case

By
Don Jacobson
Donald Trump speaks to reporters at An Evening with the Celebrity Apprentice at Florence Gould Hall in New York City on April 26, 2011. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI
Donald Trump speaks to reporters at "An Evening with the Celebrity Apprentice" at Florence Gould Hall in New York City on April 26, 2011. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

April 10 (UPI) -- A federal judge has ordered Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to hand over unaired footage of President Donald Trump's former reality television show Celebrity Apprentice in a civil case.

The order in New York late Thursday by U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield allows the plaintiffs to view hundreds of hours of unaired footage from two episodes of the show that's held by MGM.

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The plaintiffs argue they were scammed by Trump and his children -- Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. -- into investing in multilevel marketing company ACN Opportunity LLC, whose principals appeared on the program as guests.

The suit argues the Trumps repeatedly made recommendations to viewers to invest in ACN without revealing they'd been paid to endorse the firm. Upon following the Trumps' recommendations, the suit says, they lost thousands of dollars in the company.

Trump has dismissed past endorsements of ACN as "puffery" upon which no reasonable investor would have relied.

Schofield's order came one day after she denied an attempt by the Trumps to move the case from the courts into arbitration.

Plaintiffs attorney Roberta Kaplan said she will continue to seek justice for "our brave clients, and thousands of others like them who were defrauded by the Trumps."

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Trump attorney Joanna Hendon said she will appeal the decision that denied arbitration.

Unaired footage of Celebrity Apprentice has been sought for years by journalists and Trump's political opponents. Former contestants have said there are tapes that include Trump making insensitive comments.

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