Ex-Apprentice Chris Plays Down Arrest

Ex-Apprentice Chris Plays Down Arrest
Chris Shelton
Craig Blankenhorn/NBC Universal

04/19/2005 08:00AM

Last week's fired Apprentice candidate, Chris Shelton, is finally speaking out about his April 10 arrest at a Tampa casino on charges of disorderly conduct.

"In my defense, I didn't think it was a big deal, but the police department didn't think so," Shelton, 22, tells the Associated Press about the incident. He does admit, though, "I was out of line for raising my voice."

In the early hours of Sunday, the real estate developer, in Tampa to participate in a birthday celebration, was taken into custody for lashing out at employees of the Seminole Hard Rock Casino & Hotel over a $20 cocktail-lounge cover charge. Shelton was released a few hours later after posting $250 bail.

"Basically, what happened was I had paid about $2,000 for the most expensive suite they have," says Shelton, a Las Vegas resident. "In Vegas, I wouldn't have been bothered with a cover charge. It was a misunderstanding."

Shortly after Shelton's arrest became news, Donald Trump said of him at a press conference to discuss the NBC show: "He's got an anger management problem. We talked about it on the show. He truly is an angry guy."

On the show this season, Trump repeatedly called Shelton on the carpet for his lashing out, as well as for the young man's habit of chewing tobacco (Trump is a hard-liner when it comes to opposing tobacco in any form.)

Shelton tells AP that he's stopped tobacco and he's "working on" controlling his temper.

As for being axed in last Thursday's episode: "When I was fired, I had such an emotional release because of everything you go through in that experience: being in front of the cameras, the tasks, not sleeping. ... You get really broken down when Trump says, 'You're fired.'"

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