BY: Verena Dobnik
NEW YORK – The dirt is flying between Donald Trump’s producers for TV’s ‘Celebrity Apprentice‘ and the owner of the city’s biggest, glitziest rooftop garden.
Plans to shoot the NBC show’s season finale atop 230 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan were nixed after owner Steven Greenberg accused Mark Burnett Productions of being “scam artists.”
“The answer is NO!” Greenberg wrote in an e-mail to Heather Carrington in Burnett’s business development department.
The brouhaha started last week when a location scout first expressed interest in the 22,000-square-foot deck, called 230 Fifth, with its 360-degree Manhattan panorama from the Flatiron District and a straight-on view of the Empire State Building. On some nights, the heated rooftop bar and restaurant accommodates thousands of guests amid palm trees and fountains.
Work on the ‘Apprentice’ reality show would have started at 5:30 a.m. last Monday, Greenberg said.
But by late Nov. 12, the Friday before work was to start, “they still hadn’t made up their mind,” he said, adding that special arrangements would have had to be made for elevators and other technicalities.
“I was very upset,” Greenberg said. “And I told them, ‘I think this is a jerk-around by you people.’”
Carrington apologized on Saturday, e-mailing Greenberg that she was “very sorry about how you were treated yesterday” and saying she was “in shock when you phoned and was not sure what was said to you from the locations department,” according to messages he released to The Associated Press.
The producers said ‘Apprentice,’ a business-themed reality competition, was still interested, but Greenberg said he believes they were looking at other locations while “taking my space off the market.”
Carrington said Thursday that she had no comment and that an attorney for Burnett would contact the AP. No call was received as of Thursday evening.
While Greenberg didn’t believe the production employees’ actions “in any way reflect the way Donald Trump would do business or conduct himself,” he wrote to Carrington, “I have rarely, if ever, dealt with a more disingenuous, dishonest and inept group such as yours.”
Still, he said tongue-in-cheek, “I didn’t fire Trump till Saturday!”
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