She dissed Carson Daly. Mangled Regis Philbin's moniker. And stabbed her fellow Versacorpers in the back by siding with the enemy. So, it came as no surprise when, on last Thursday's The Apprentice, 36-year-old stockbroker Tammy Lee found herself on the receiving end of a Donald Trump pink slip. Now, in an interview with TV Guide Online, the plucky Asian-American defends her controversial negotiation style, responds to The Donald's boardroom tongue-lashing and answers the question on everyone's mind: What the heck is Omarosa's damage?
TV Guide Online: Why do you think you didn't gel with your teammates?
Tammy Lee: I'm not afraid to be different and think outside the box. I take huge risks. And I don't think they were comfortable with the fact that I was a fun, zany business person. I'm also outspoken and unpredictable and that intimidates and scares people.
TVGO: Your teammates tore you to shreds in the confessionals. How did you feel when you watched the show and heard what they were saying behind your back?
Tammy Lee: I was really disappointed. I didn't go around talking negatively behind their backs.
TVGO: You were kind of rude to Carson Daly when you were pitching him ideas for that charity auction. You basically suggested he'd only attract a decent bid if he were paired with Tiger Woods.
Tammy Lee: I read in his bio that he used to play golf with Tiger Woods; they sounded pretty chummy. So, I thought, what a perfect opportunity to raise money for a good cause by auctioning off [a pair of] celebrity golfers to the highest bidder? If he's throwing around Tiger Woods' name, then let's call him on it. But he couldn't cough [him] up and I think he was embarrassed.
TVGO: So, it didn't have anything to do with you thinking he wasn't a big enough draw on his own?
Tammy Lee: Oh, no. I was just trying to power source him and be efficient about it. But my teammates thought, "Hey, isn't Carson big enough for you?" I wasn't thinking like that. I think that they have a bit more of a negative view of the world.
TVGO: And what happened with Regis? You butchered his name.
Tammy Lee: Yes, it was a little embarrassing. [Laughs] Sometimes in your natural daily life you misspeak. Regis Philbin, Phil, whatever. Big deal.
TVGO: Donald had harsh words for you in the boardroom.
Tammy Lee: He called me obnoxious and disloyal. Obnoxious? That's something I heard a sixth-grade teacher call me one time when I threw a spit wad at another kid. And the disloyal part? That was hard for me to hear but not totally unexpected, based on how the teammates were reacting.
TVGO: I hear there's gonna be a reunion. True?
Tammy Lee: I understand that there could be. I have no confirmation, though.
TVGO: What's it gonna be like when you see your fellow Versacorpers again? I predict lots of tension.
Tammy Lee: There will certainly be some areas that we need to smooth over. But a big lesson I've learned in life is you gotta let things go. If you hang on to negative energy, you're just going to turn into a negative person and you're not going to be fun to be around.
TVGO: Speaking of which, what's the deal with Omarosa? Girlfriend needs a hug.
Tammy Lee: We got kind of close and she told me, "Tammy, I've always been an outsider, and I have had to fight for everything my entire life. And I'm still fighting." She just needs to change her attitude and be more friendly and open and I think people will see her for who she really is. She's carrying around a lot of baggage and she needs to let it go.
TVGO: True that. Quick housekeeping question: Are your suitcases really full every time you head to the boardroom?
Tammy Lee: [Laughs] We are told to bring — just in case you are fired — a bag of stuff that you will need for an unspecified period of time.
TVGO: So it's not everything?
Tammy Lee: No.
TVGO: How did you get the rest of your stuff?
Tammy Lee: They were retrieved for us by production people. We were not allowed to go back into the suite.
TVGO: Who's gonna win?
Tammy Lee: I think Kwame. He's a real, nice, kind, generous person. He doesn't have an evil bone in his body. He just says it like it is and I really respect someone like that. He could go a long way.