Dan Snierson
March 31, 2010 AT 12:54 PM EDT

Image Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBCJesse James is America’s Most Wanted — and not in a good way. But one person who believes that James’ Hollywood career won’t be derailed by his alleged infidelity while married to Sandra Bullock is the man who once fired him: Donald Trump. (The motorcycle mogul and former host of Monster Garage and Jesse James Is a Dead Man finished third on the 2009 edition of The Celebrity Apprentice.) Trump asserts that, “In terms of television, it probably helps him…. Whether you like Jesse or not, he’s now a much hotter commodity than before this happened. And his audience — they love him.” (The Donald does note that James won’t likely be landing any endorsement deals soon.)

And what did Trump think of James when he was on the show? “I knew Jesse very well during The Apprentice,” he says. “He was very quiet. I really thought he had a great relationship with his wife, and actually, I would ask him on more than one occasion, ‘What the hell did Sandra ever see in you?’… He’s a tough guy, but very smart. And very guarded. I’d rarely see him let down his guard.”

For more on James and how the scandal may impact his career, check out the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, which hits newsstands later this week.

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