*They had to put up with an anti-Obama loudmouth for several months, but Omarosa and Lil Jon say the main reason they returned to the upcoming all-star season of “Celebrity Apprentice” was to raise money for their respective charities, which this time hit close to home.
“I’m playing for my fiancé Michael Clarke Duncan’s [charity] Sue Duncan Children’s Center in Chicago,” Omarosa Manigault told us after the show’s panel at the TCA press tour in Pasadena on Sunday.
The South Side non-profit was founded in 1961 by Susan Duncan, mother of current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The center runs afterschool and summer programs to provide children free tutoring and academic support as well as access to extracurricular activities such as basketball and art.
Michael Clarke Duncan died from respiratory failure on Sept. 3, weeks after going into cardiac arrest. The actor’s passing has not only given Omarosa an emotional urgency this time around to nab as much “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” money as possible for her charity, but it has also made the notorious first-season villain a different person.
“I had to change,” she said. “Because who I was when I was 28-years-old, when I did the show the first time, certainly as a 38-year-old woman it’s not the same thing. I’ve been through things – I’ve had joys, I’ve had tragedies – and they’ve shaped and molded how I’ve approached things.
“Am I still tough? Absolutely. I’m still competitive, even more so. But my spirit of doing things is tremendously different.”
Super-producer Lil Jon, who swore he would never return to “Celebrity Apprentice” following his 2011 season, is playing once again for the American Diabetes Association. He was in the midst of turning down the “All Star” request when his own mother, who lives with diabetes, suffered another serious health scare due to complications from the disease. Listen below.
“All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” also brings back La Toya Jackson and Dennis Rodman. It premieres March 3 at 9 p.m. on NBC. Watch the trailer below.