Had Stacie J. consulted her now-infamous Magic 8 Ball before entering Donald Trump's boardroom on last Thursday's Apprentice, it probably would have said, "Signs Point to Unemployment." But the 35-year-old model/Subway franchisee — whose 8-Ball-fueled breakdown freaked out her teammates and led to her firing — isn't about to let a pesky little pink slip get her down. She's too busy fending off accusations that she's loony tunes to worry about that.TV Guide Online: I thought it was really cruel how the girls all ganged up on you in the boardroom.
TVGO: That said, your Magic 8-Ball freak-out was a little spooky. What happened?
Stacie J: I was trying to motivate my team. It was the end of the task and I was like, "Hey you guys, we won! We won! Come on, get psyched!" I was being a cheerleader for the team. It's like what I do at my store — I own a Subway sandwich shop. But my team was never a team. From day one, it was all about the individual. It was more like Survivor: Let's get together, form an alliance and vote someone off.
TVGO: So when you went back and watched that episode, your behavior didn't strike you as odd?
Stacie J: No, absolutely not. I never even asked that 8 Ball a question. That's a game from my childhood. It was just a thing I was shaking up. I think the 8-Ball issue is something the girls decided to align themselves with and rally behind. It was a case of, "Let's all of us weak people get together and get the strong person outta here." This happens every day in life; it's not a new concept.
TVGO: Do you feel like you need to prove to people that you are sane?
Stacie J: Do you know what they put you through to get on this show? You have to take a series of mental tests, IQ tests, therapy tests.... No one's ever accused me of being insane. I have my MBA, I own my own business, I own my own house, I pay my bills, I have eight employees, I make payroll, I live in New York. I don't have the luxury of being crazy. Where the real fault lies is with Donald Trump, because he actually fell for what the girls were pulling over his eyes. He got caught up in the sensationalism of TV and I was the victim of that. He says he makes his own decisions? Hmm, I think the girls made it for him on this one.
TVGO: So, just to set the record straight: You do not have a history of mental illness?
Stacie J: I can't believe you're asking me this. It's insulting, honestly. It's absolutely insulting.
TVGO: I think it's a fair question. One of the girls called you borderline schizophrenic.
Stacie J: Do you remember who said that? This person's background? Are they a doctor? Like I told Trump, people use this word "crazy" to define so many types of things. I can't prove my worth or my character to people I don't know. How am I going to prove something to the entire world? I'm not going to sit here and say, "Oh, my god! I'm not crazy! Please believe me!" I think my character and integrity speaks for itself.
TVGO: What do you make of Stacy R. describing the 8-Ball incident as one of the scariest moments of her life? Sounds like someone needs to get out more.
Stacie J: And she's from New York. What happens in the boardroom is someone starts saying something and it's a snowball effect. I thought I was in a bad movie. I was like, "Is this really happening?"
TVGO: I read in a gossip column that you showed up at TV Guide's Emmys party last week and did interviews on the red carpet — in apparent violation of your NBC contract. True?
Stacie J: No, that's not true. In terms of being at the TV Guide party? Yeah, I was there. You guys had a great party. But absolutely no interviews. NBC called me and was like, "Stacie, you did interviews." And I was like, "Really? I don't think so. Why don't you try and find the footage of that because I'm not going to violate my contract. I know what I signed."
TVGO: I'm a big Subway fan. Have you ever met Jared?
Stacie J: [Laughs] I have never met Jared.
TVGO: How often are you asked that question?
Stacie J: All the time.
TVGO: Where's your store?
Stacie J: In Harlem. If those girls are so scared, I can go ahead and drop them off in Harlem and see how long they last. [Laughs]
TVGO: How do I get my hands on some of those frequent-customer stickers?
Stacie J: Buy more sandwiches. A foot-long gets you two of them.
TVGO: Do you give extra stickers to your family and friends?
Stacie J: Of course I do.
TVGO: I gotta say, Subway can be stingy with the veggies. They always want to charge me more for extra peppers and pickles — even when I pass on the cheese. Now, that's crazy.
Stacie J: Well, food costs are extremely high....
TVGO: What's your store's policy?
Stacie J: We charge extra, because I know my food costs. And we have to pay New York rent, so we have a ton of overhead. I'd love to do it in a world that was a little different. But unfortunately, we have to pay bills.
TVGO: But what if I skip the cheese — which is probably the most expensive ingredient in the sandwich I get, the Veggie Delight.
Stacie J: Oh...
TVGO: Shouldn't I be able to substitute cheese for some extra veggies?
Stacie J: Well, you come into my store. I'll tell them to give you extra vegetables and skip the cheese. I would do that.
TVGO: I'm gonna hold you to that.