Mark Burnett, producer of NBC's "The Apprentice," is reportedly sitting on unreleased tapes of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump making sexual remarks about women as he did in a tape that was released on Oct. 7.
An unidentified source close to Burnett told BuzzFeed that Burnett, who is a Christian along with wife Roma Downey, has threatened his employees if they leak the damaging footage of Trump.
"[Burnett] is pro-Trump and has made clear to his teams that he will sue anyone who leaks," the source told the news site.
Bill Pruitt, a former producer on "The Apprentice" tweeted on Oct. 8: "As a producer on seasons 1 & 2 of #theapprentice I assure you: when it comes to the #trumptapes there are far worse. #justthebegininng."
Chris Nee, a TV producer, tweeted that Burnett's company had a $5 million "penalty fee" that someone could be forced to pay if they leaked the tapes. He later deleted the tweet.
David Brock, head of the pro-Clinton Super PAC American Bridge, told BuzzFeed via email: "If a $5 million 'leak fee' is what stands between truth and total Trump implosion, sign me up."
Burnett and his production company did not respond to questions by BuzzFeed.
The Associated Press reported on Oct. 3 that more than 20 former contestants, crew members, and editors said that Trump treated women badly on "The Apprentice."
A former crew member, bound by a non-disclosure agreement, anonymously told the AP:
If there was a break in the conversation, he would then look at one of the female cast members, saying, "You’re looking kind of hot today, I love that dress on you," then he would turn to one of the male cast members and say, "Wouldn’t you sleep with her?" and then everyone would laugh. There would be about 10 or 12 cameras rolling and getting that footage, which is why everybody was like, this guy just doesn’t care.
A male crew member told the news service:
We were in the boardroom one time figuring out who to blame for the task, and he just stopped in the middle and pointed to someone and said, 'You'd f--- her, wouldn't you? I'd f--- her. C'mon, wouldn't you?' Everyone is trying to make him stop talking, and the woman is shrinking in her seat.
Eight people who used to work on the show said that Trump repeatedly made sexual comments about a camerawoman's rear end, and compared her to his daughter, Ivanka.
Former producer Katherine Walker recalled that Trump often talked about women's bodies for the five seasons she worked on the show, and that Trump would wonder aloud which female contestant would be "a tiger in bed."
Hope Hicks, Trump's campaign spokeswoman, refused to answer questions about the allegations, but said in a statement to the AP:
These outlandish, unsubstantiated, and totally false claims fabricated by publicity hungry, opportunistic, disgruntled former employees, have no merit whatsoever. The Apprentice was one of the most successful prime-time television shows of all time and employed hundreds of people over many years, many of whom support Mr. Trump's candidacy.