Donald Trump's biopic The Apprentice premieres at Cannes, rakes up a storm with rape scene | Hollywood - Hindustan Times

Donald Trump's biopic The Apprentice premieres at Cannes, rakes up a storm with rape scene

May 21, 2024 08:51 AM IST

Biopic The Apprentice at Cannes Film Festival portrays Donald Trump as rapist based on Ivana Trump's account during their divorce proceedings.

Former US president Donald Trump is portrayed as a rapist who assaulted his first wife, Ivana, in the new biopic, ‘The Apprentice,’ which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

First look at The Apprentice shows Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump and Jeremy Strong as Roy Cohn(X, formerly Twitter)
First look at The Apprentice shows Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump and Jeremy Strong as Roy Cohn(X, formerly Twitter)

Directed by Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, the drama fictionalizes a 1989 incident detailed during the couple’s divorce proceedings.

Near the end of The Apprentice, Trump reacts furiously after Ivana disparages his physical appearance. “You have a face like a fucking orange,” she tells him.

“You’re getting fat, you’re getting ugly, and you’re getting bald.”

The future president is then depicted forcing his wife to the floor and raping her. “Did I find your G-spot?” he asks in the film.

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Donald vs Ivana

This scene mirrors Ivana Trump's description in her 1990 divorce deposition, where she recounted a similar assault that occurred shortly after Trump’s scalp-reduction surgery. She claimed Trump pushed her to the floor and pulled out handfuls of her hair.

However, Ivana initially described the incident as rape, she later retracted this claim. In a 1993 statement, she clarified, “On one occasion during 1989, Mr. Trump and I had marital relations in which he behaved very differently towards me than he had during our marriage. As a woman, I felt violated … I referred to this as a rape, but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”

During their divorce, Trump dismissed his wife's version of the incident as “obviously false.”

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The Apprentice seeks Palme d'Or

The Apprentice is scripted by bestselling non-fiction author Gabriel Sherman, portrays Sebastian Stan as Donald J. Trump and Maria Bakalova as Ivana Trump, add’s Succession star Jeremy Strong as notorious New York lawyer Roy Cohn. The film is a kind of dark neo-horror story featuring Cohn as inseparable from Trump on a journey revealing the ugly sides of American capitalism. One of the key rules Cohn imparts to Trump is: “Admit nothing, deny everything.”

The Apprentice is vying for Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’Or award. While the Canadian, Danish, and Irish-backed production has been sold to numerous foreign territories, it reportedly has not yet secured a US distribution deal.

The film is also facing a legal challenge from lawyers connected to billionaire Trump donor Dan Snyder. According to Variety, Snyder had invested in The Apprentice, believing it would depict Trump in a positive light and was outraged upon viewing a rough cut of the film.

Since the 1970s, at least 25 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, which he has denied. Last year, the former president was found liable for the sexual abuse of writer E. Jean Carroll in the mid-1990s and was ordered to pay $83.3 million in damages.

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The former POTUS has never been charged with or convicted of rape.

Ivana, the mother of Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric Trump, passed away in July 2022 after falling down the stairs at her Manhattan home. Her body is interred on the grounds of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

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