'Apprentice' Co-Star Says Donald Didn't Dump Her

ByABC News via logo
September 6, 2006, 8:41 AM

Sept. 6, 2006 — -- Former "Apprentice" co-star Carolyn Kepcher says she was not fired by Donald Trump, despite last week's reports, and insists that their parting was mutual.

After working for Trump for 11 years, Kepcher said it was time to take her life in a different direction.

"It's time for me to move on," Kepcher said to "Good Morning America."

Kepcher served as an executive vice president of The Trump Organization and managing partner of Trump Golf Management LLC, the umbrella unit for all six current golf properties, and was responsible for both their marketing and operations.

"We had a wonderful time," Kepcher said of her time on the show. "We remain friends."

However, "Apprentice" co-star George Ross publicly criticized her, saying that her obsession with fame had interfered with her work.

"Did she bask in the glory of the limelight? Probably," Ross said.

"I love George. I respect George," Kepcher said in response to his comments. "I disagree with everything he just said."

Trump's daughter Ivanka, who Kepcher called "incredibly brilliant," will replace Kepcher on the show.

"I wish her a lot of luck," she said.

The New York Post broke the story of Kepcher's alleged firing on Friday. A personnel issue has become fodder for comedians.

"Hey, Donald Trump fired Carolyn. Did you hear about this? You know, the blonde one on 'The Apprentice'? Replaced her with his daughter," Jay Leno said on "The Tonight Show."

"That's good business sense. Nepotism, always smart. Fire the competent people. Replace them with your children. Hey, it worked for Saddam."

Kepcher plans on spending more time with her children before pursuing any new opportunities, she said.

She holds no bad feelings toward her now-former boss.

"He's a great success story in business," Kepcher said. "Eleven years is a long time."