Actor Tom Arnold says President-elect Donald Trump is threatening to sue him for defamation if he releases a video tape of Trump making racist and vulgar comments in outtakes from NBC's reality show "The Apprentice."
Arnold had been debating people on Twitter on Dec. 21 about whether he made the right decision not to release the tape before the election, CBS News notes.
About an hour later, Arnold tweeted about the possible lawsuit from Trump: "Wife told me there's house line VM from Trump Camp about defamation suit so it's on! Open Apprentice vaults 4 discovery! Miss Universe too!!"
Arnold described the tape to Seattle radio station KIRO on Dec. 19, notes The Guardian:
I have the outtakes to "The Apprentice" where he says every bad thing ever, every offensive, racist thing ever. It was him sitting in that chair saying the N-word, saying the C-word, calling his son a retard, just being so mean to his own children.
[When] the people sent it to me, it was funny. Hundreds of people have seen these. It was sort of a Christmas video they put together. He wasn’t going to be president of the United States.
Arnold also recalled that he got a call from actor Arnold Schwarzenegger's agent on the Sunday before Election Day:
I get a call from Arnold’s CAA agent, sitting next to [Democratic nominee] Hillary Clinton. They said, "I need you to release him saying the N-word." I said, "Well, now these people -- two editors and an associate producer -- are scared to death. They’re scared of his people, they’re scared of they’ll never work again, there’s a $5m confidentiality agreement."
Arnold told the radio station that releasing the video before the election might have actually helped Trump:
I think if the people that like him saw him saying the N-word, he’s sitting matter-of-factly in front of, there has to be 30 people there, and he’s matter-of-factly saying all of this stuff. So I think they would have liked him more, the people, for being politically incorrect.
As part of his Twitter wars with critics, Arnold tweeted on Dec. 20: "Agre F-ME. Complicated. just been my career or death threats FO would've in Oct. I've Heard $ ruin death threats 4, 30 yr. Norm folks scared."