Emily West, the country singer whose appearance was allegedly harshly critiqued by Donald Trump while appearing on a 2010 episode of his reality series Celebrity Apprentice, has responded to the Republican presidential nominee’s remarks. According to a recently released transcript of the episode via Huffington Post, Trump disparaged the appearance of West’s skin. “Her skin sucks, OK? I mean her skin, she needs some serious fuckin’ dermatology,” said Trump.
West, who had moderate hits with 2008’s “Rocks in My Shoes” and the 2010 Keith Urban duet “Blue Sky,” tells Rolling Stone Country that although she just learned of the comments, she was immediately turned off by the criticism.
“Obviously, I was hurt and kind of grossed out, but it didn’t surprise me to be honest,” says West. “I feel really bad for him, because he doesn’t know how the human heart works. You can’t say things like that to people and then one day expect to win; your character is going to show up. I would really like to believe in good character when it comes to voting for my president. I don’t ever expect to vote for a character.”
West appeared in an installment of Celebrity Apprentice titled “Beauty and Brains,” which focused on promoting a country artist. Contestant Cyndi Lauper oversaw the campaign for West, who faced off against then rising star Luke Bryan. To Trump, Bryan was the more appealing.
“Personally, I am, as you probably heard, not a gay man, but I think he’s better looking [than] Emily, OK?” he said, according to the transcript.
Trump also disagreed with guest judge Trace Adkins’ more positive assessment of West.
“You’re obviously not a skin man,” Trump said, “which is OK. I wish I wasn’t.”
For her part, West was thrilled with the way Lauper both styled and presented her.
“Cyndi had me looking great. The fact that [Trump] wasn’t blown away by my package in the boardroom meeting … I found to be really mind-blowing,” says West. “Now I know why he didn’t flip out: because he was paying attention to my skin when I was a singer and not a supermodel. I’m not in a pageant, you know?”
The alleged transcript follows last Friday’s release of a 2005 audiotape of an explicit conversation with then-Access Hollywood correspondent Billy Bush, in which Trump is heard bragging that he could grab women “by the pussy.” Bush has since been suspended from his current duties as a host on NBC’s Today.
West, who never met the outspoken businessman during filming, likens the recently unearthed criticism to schoolyard taunts.
“It reminds me of my past eighth-grade experience of bullies on the playground and sticks and stones type stuff. I thought we outgrew that,” says West, who nonetheless won’t reveal whether she’s voting for Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton come November 8th. “I just want the country to be as great as it can be, and whoever is running it, Hillary or Trump, I expect that they’re making good choices. I don’t have time for past stuff. Yeah, it feels bad to read [Trump’s criticism], but I also feel like I’m beautiful and I’m powerful and I’m not a dick. So that’s nice.”
West recently signed with the independent publishing company Deluge Music, home of the duo Smithfield, one of Rolling Stone Country‘s Artists You Need to Know.