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The Fired Line

''Apprentice'' rejects get the last laugh - Contestants parlaying their fame that would even make The Donald proud

SAM Though early firee Sam Solovey has yet to hear back on his offer to pay Trump $250,000 to hire him, the cash-filled silver Samsonite he presented during the finale remains with the Donald's people. And he's confident it's safe: ''It's being held. He's not, like, coveting the money or anything.'' So was that really his money? Or did producers put him up to it? ''As crazy as it was, I have to take all the credit,'' Solovey says. ''The money was real -- a portion in cash and a portion in checks. I don't want to say where that money came from, but it was mine.''

He's now back to running an e-mail newsletter business in Chevy Chase, Md., and mulling over a radio-show deal.

OMAROSA Our favorite villain vows to return to TV, one way or another. ''I wouldn't describe myself as a villain,'' says Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth. ''I'm more of a diva.''

Okay, so our favorite diva vows to return, whether in an Herbal Essences ad (which she shot April 16) or on her own talk show (which she's shopping around). And the beauty queen -- turned -- political consultant -- turned -- ice queen doesn't regret her slipups -- most notably lying about a crucial phone call -- while part of the team of booted contestants who contributed to Jackson's loss. ''Kwame assisted in my termination from the show,'' she explains of her earlier firing. ''Then [I come back] under his employ in the finale. I have to admit I was demoralized.''

She hasn't written off doing a cameo in the second season, which starts this fall: ''I would give it full consideration.'' Still, she's confident she'll succeed with or without The Apprentice. ''I know I sound like Trump saying this, but I've got a great team assembled -- the best agent, the best manager, the best attorney, the best publicist, the best stylist, the best makeup artist. The true businesspeople will emerge after the show.''

Originally posted Apr 30, 2004 Published in issue #762-763 Apr 30, 2004 Order article reprints
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