AHHA: I heard everybody else use the word crazy towards you.
Stacie: It was never him [saying it to me on the air]. To me, it was the only reason everyone [was] saying the word crazy is because he was consistently saying crazy. In my firing [they] obviously consulted their legal department, because the first time I ever heard the words loose cannon ever in my entire life referred towards me was when the rest of the nation heard it. He did a 30-second speech on TV before he fired me saying, Stacie – loose cannon. We cant have a loose cannon working for my organization. So Im sitting there watching TV like, Whoa! Loose cannon – these words were never said to me. Now I know why, because a lot of lawyers have approached me, and these are legal terms you can not use when youre up for a job or working for someone – you can actually sue for the word crazy. So if you watch my whole firing and listen, its all dubbed over.
AHHA: Well yeah, a lot of it was dubbed, you can tell.
Stacie: In terms of my firing, it was not about defending myself, because it was never a chance to defend myself. But when he said, Maria, do you think Stacies crazy? [Maria said] Yeah I think shes crazy. Elizabeth, well what do you think, do you think Stacie is crazy? and Elizabeth was like, Yeah I think shes crazy, cause Maria was about to get fired. I went to the boardroom every time, and I knew I wasnt getting fired. I knew I wasnt getting fired second task either. I knew that it was this real gang up thing. What you guys dont see is the boardroom is two hours, so [the competitors] get to do a lot of back and forth with Trump and his two sidekicks there. Trump already knew what I had done in the task, thats why he was like, I still dont get it, why is Stacie even here? after he had sent everyone back to the loft. Then I said, Look, I already explained to you what I did on this task and then thats when Maria goes, Mr. Trump it comes from the first task with the 8-Ball thing, and I just looked at her like she was crazy. Then hes like, Stacie, are you crazy? and Im like, What are you talking about? and he starts laughing like, Honey, people think Im crazy.
AHHA: What about Ivana saying: I was afraid for my life?
Stacie: Thats ridiculous. You have to remember they have footage 24 hours a day, so if they wanna have you looking really smiley all the time, they can interject that one shot right there. If they wanna make you really somber, thats how youre gonna look. So yeah, it looked like I wasnt defending myself, but I did plenty in that two-hour boardroom to defend myself. We were waiting a half an hour for the girls to come up, and me and Donald spoke a little bit. He was like, Look Stacie, dont say anything. Ill give you a chance when the girls get back up here, then you can say what you want. I believed him, so as soon as the girls lined themselves up Jen said her thing, Stacy [R] was like, It was the scariest day of my life. Thats the only one I actually remember, I dont even remember Ivana saying, hide in the car, cause then it just starts snowballing. He sits right over at me and Sandy says her thing and he goes right back to me and says, Stacie, youre fired immediately. I didnt even get to say anything. What you see on TV is that Sandy the last person to say her thing, and switches right back to him for like 30 seconds saying, Well Stacie, a loose cannon disrupts my team, I cant have this and this and that. Stacie, youre fired. I was not gonna say anything in the cab ride. I was very, very hurt over the entire situation because to get on the show I beat a million applicants, and Im the only black girl on that show so you know its even harder.
AHHA: There are comparisons everyone makes between you and Omarosa. Youre not even the same person, and Omarosa actually had issues with telling the truth, and things like that which we never saw in you. Do you think the race factor really think plays a part?
Stacie: It really does.
AHHA: As far as coming off the show and having to come back on and shoot [on a later episode], obviously you were hurt, and its gonna be a certain amount of God, I dont wanna talk to people, because everyone has a million questions. How did it affect your business dealings with people or your co-workers? Were they supportive of you?
Stacie: Well yeah, everyone has an opinion of what I should or should not have done. But until you actually live on a reality set All you can do is listen, I dont try to defend myself. It is what it is really. I have a ton of support. I have millions of letters of fan mail. Ive never ever gotten one negative fan mail letter. I think the public is not stupid, I think they see what happened.
AHHA: What made you decide to opt for that look for the cover of Maxim? It’s glamorous.
Stacie: Well Ive been modeling since I was a kid, theres nothing wrong with changing your look. I know the type of magazine Maxim is, I think it was more appropriate to have my hair straight and sexier.
AHHA: Well the men like it.
Stacie: People know me by my curly hair but I think for a magazine like Maxim, or other magazines that are more sexual I think its more appropriate to do straight hair, because it looks more sexy.
AHHA: Theres gonna be some women who say, If youre this business woman and youre trying to approach a career, then why would you pose for a magazine like Maxim?
Stacie: Ill pose for Playboy if they offer me enough money. Its different for me. I own my own business, you know Ive been modeling since I was a kid, its just another modeling job to me. But its on the cover of one of the hottest magazines in the nation, I mean its not like I was naked on the cover.
AHHA: Even if you were I think women are just catty, theyre just mad because they cant do it.
Stacie: [laughs] Yeah whos gonna put you on the cover of Maxim, its like a one in a billion chance, its hard. I thought it was fine, those other girls they work at companies, I guess they dont see anything wrong with it, but like I said I work for myself. I dont plan on really working for anyone, so if someones offended by that I dont know why they would be, but maybe they would. I dont know, no ones said anything to me.
AHHA: Lets go down the road – two years from now – where do you see yourself? Obviously youre gonna have your business, youre gonna go out. But acting? Do you have plans for other stuff?
Stacie: Yeah, its interesting Ive already been offered two scripts. Its interesting the opportunities that come from this, but Ive been acting too since I was a kid. Ive been a SAG actor forever and Ive done every soap opera in New York and I think starting in January Im gonna go to L.A. and just try to see whats out there in terms of day and night time drama, and E! was talking to me possibly about hosting something. I have five really solid show ideas that Id like to executive produce. Its just a matter of me really trying to figure out where in entertainment I see myself fitting, and I havent really explored the options yet. Ask me that after about six months to a year in L.A., because right now Im so focused on the business aspect until January 1st, and I have three endorsement deals already since the show. Ones with Seven 7 Jeans, which theyve never advertised. Its gonna be for all their prints, thats gonna be huge. Were shooting that next month, and Im gonna come out with my own line of jeans in the fall of 2005 called Stacie J Jeans, so thats a business thing too – and I might expand my Subway, I dont know. I own the rights in Harlem.
I have a whole list of business stuff Id like to do which involves real estate. Its a combination of things. Im building a brand, with this exposure on TV I really model myself after Magic Johnson, Oprah, Martha Stewart, people like this. Take for example Magic Johnson, he has the Starbucks [on 125th Street], the Fridays, the Washington Mutual, he has the movie theaters. Okay, who is Stacie J? A combination of entertainment and business, the model entrepreneurs combining them both. So Im branding myself, I have my hands in a couple of things like I mentioned right now. So I guess you have to check back in two years.
AHHA: What’s the best advice you can give to any young person who just got out of college or maybe who’s just starting out in a career?
Stacie: I think that it’s really important to have a vision, and know what you want. I knew I wanted this [Subway] store, I opened this with very little money. But I mean if you have a vision and you’re able to get in front of the right people and you’re able to convince them of your vision and your dreams…Do not stop, do not take no for an answer, even if you have bad credit, no credit whatsoever. If you want to do something there’s always a way to do it. So basically be persistent, find a mentor if you can, ask a lot of questions, be able to combine your street smarts with your book smarts which is very important. If that doesn’t work, know how to recreate yourself. Once you’ve done a project, continue on, keep building yourself.
AHHA: Yeah definitely, I think that’s the key word that you said, branding yourself because when you go on an interview you’re not just interviewing for a job, you’re selling yourself. So you’re basically convincing this person you are a viable product to them and their company.
Stacie: You have to know how to sell yourself without a doubt. I would have never gotten on that show if I didn’t know how to sell myself, that was a large part of it too.
AHHA: I think people kind of discredit that when they talk about people on the show, you’re talking 18 people…
Stacie: Out of a million applicants. So I know they look really hectic but they had something that made them stand out from the rest of the other applicants, I don’t know what it was. But then you also have to know that they’re filling characters, they need someone somber, someone with high energy, someone that talks a lot. They need personalities – they’re making a TV show too.