Following the leak of Access Hollywood footage from 2005 that showed Donald Trump boasting about sexual assault, many (including Slate) have pointed out there are potentially lots of other incriminating tapes lying around somewhere. After all, hours and hours of unaired Apprentice footage make it likely that cameras caught more than a few embarrassing moments of the man now vying for the presidency.
Speculation went into overdrive about what the tapes might contain after Bill Pruitt, a producer on the first two seasons of the Apprentice wrote on Twitter that “when it comes to the #trumptapes there are far worse. #justthebeginning.”
What could the “far worse” be? Turns out it could be Trump saying “nigger,” at least according to another television executive who wrote on Twitter that anyone who leaked tapes would have to pay a $5 million “leak fee.”
I don't have the tapes. I've signed a Burnett contract & know leak fee is 5 mill. Hearing from producers/crew N word is the "much worse".— Chris Nee (@chrisdocnee) October 9, 2016
That "leak fee" is precisely why those tapes may never come to light. Mark Burnett, the producer of the Apprentice, is very protective of the footage. He “is pro-Trump and has made clear to his teams that he will sue anyone who leaks,” a source told BuzzFeed News.
One thing we know for sure? NBC won’t be releasing anything. A spokeswoman for the network told the Associated Press that NBC had only licensed footage from Burnett and the network wasn’t legally allowed to release anything that didn't air. "We don't have the legal right to give out the footage from that show," the NBC spokeswoman said.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about NBC is that the network is very worried about potential lawsuits. In fact, it’s the reason why it lost the scoop on the Access Hollywood tapes to the Washington Post. According to the Post’s Paul Fahri, NBC News knew about the footage for at least four days before the Post published the piece but was determined to have lawyers review the material first. Neither NBC News nor Access Hollywood even had a scheduled air date before the Post published the hot-mic footage.
If you know anything about the potentially incriminating Trump footage—or are eager to leak the Apprentice tapes—please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.