Trump Skewers Stewart in Open Letter

UPDATED 02/21/2006 at 08:00 PM EST Originally published 02/21/2006 at 06:55 PM EST

Trump Skewers Stewart in Open Letter
Donald Trump
Joel Auerbach/Zuma
In an open letter to Martha Stewart obtained by PEOPLE, Donald Trump has come out swinging against the other Apprentice host, saying that her version of the NBC reality show – which was not renewed after suffering low ratings – "never had a chance."

Stewart, who had recently told Newsweek that her relationship with the mogul was "excellent," calls Trump's letter "mean-spirited and reckless."

"I almost can’t believe my longtime friend Donald Trump wrote it," Stewart said in a statement to PEOPLE. "I am very proud of the work we did with Mark Burnett Productions and Mr. Trump, who was an executive producer, on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart."

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Below is Trump's letter in its entirety, followed by Stewart's response.

"Dear Martha:

It's about time you started taking responsibility for your failed version of The Apprentice. Your performance was terrible in that the show lacked mood, temperament and just about everything else a show needs for success. I knew it would fail as soon as I first saw it – and your low ratings bore me out.

Between your daughter, with her one word statements, your letter writing and, most importantly, your totally unconvincing demeanor, it never had a chance – much as your daytime show is not exactly setting records.

Despite this, I did nothing but positively promote you. Your only response to your failed show was that, "I thought that I was supposed to fire Donald Trump!" You knew this was not true – NBC would never fire me when The Apprentice was, for a good period of time, the #1 show on television and my recent finale, where I hired Randal, was the #2 show for the week, easily beating the competing finale of Amazing Race and others. Even Mark Burnett said, "Thank God that didn't happen," when asked about firing Donald Trump.

Essentially, you made this firing up just as you made up your sell order of ImClone. The only difference is – that was more obvious. Putting your show on the air was a mistake for everybody – especially NBC.

In any event, my great loyalty to you has gone totally unappreciated.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Trump

P.S. Be careful or I will do a syndicated daytime show, perhaps called The Boardroom, and further destroy the meager ratings you already have!"

Martha Stewart's response: The letter is so mean-spirited and reckless that I almost can’t believe my long-time friend Donald Trump wrote it. I am very proud of the work we did with Mark Burnett Productions and Mr. Trump, who was an executive producer, on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Many young entrepreneurs learned so much from the show and enjoyed it. Many families sat their children down weekly to watch it. We are even more pleased with our excellent daytime show Martha – syndicated by NBC Universal – which has just been nominated for six daytime Emmys (including best show and best host), was touted by The New York Times as one of the best shows on television, and has been embraced by our wonderful audience throughout the country.

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