Marlee Matlin has responded to the reports that Donald Trump made fun of her and called her names during her time on Celebrity Apprentice.
Several sources allegedly came forward and told the Daily Beast the Republican presidential candidate often mimicked the deaf, Oscar-winning actress, repeatedly calling her “retarded” and demeaning her.
Matlin responded to the reports on Twitter Friday, posting a statement that read: “Recent media reports have circulated that Donald Trump allegedly referred me to as ‘retarded,'” she began. “The term is abhorrent and should never be used. The fact that we are talking about this during a very important moment in American history has upset me deeply.”
She explained, “I am Deaf. There are millions of Deaf and hard of hearing people like me, in the United States and around the world who face discrimination and misunderstanding like this on a daily basis. It is unacceptable.”
Thus, she continued, “So what’s my response? It’s not about insults or taking each other down. As a person who is Deaf, as a woman, as a mom, as a wife, as an actor, I have a voice. And I’m using that voice to make myself heard…and vote.”
The news comes on the heels of another report made Wednesday in which former Celebrity Apprentice contestant Richard Hatch claimed Trump made sexual comments toward both Matlin and Lisa Rinna while filming the reality series in 2011.
Hatch claimed, “He went back and forth with Marlee. No matter how she responded, no matter how politely, he would push it a step further with comments about her looks, and how she was making him feel, and about what he thought of her, and how happy he would be to do something sexual with her.
“It was a lot of innuendo, far beyond the norm. It was odd and weird, and people in the boardroom would look at one another, but he didn’t care.”
Hatch also said Trump did all of this in front of his daughter, Ivanka Trump.
A spokesperson for the Trump campaign dismissed the story, saying, “Marlee Matlin is such a nice person, and Mr. Trump has great respect for her, but this report is completely false. Just take a look at Richard Hatch’s record, or lack thereof.”
The allegations follow last week’s scandal in which the Washington Post published footage of a lewd conversation between Trump and Billy Bush in 2005.
The two were talking on hot microphones before they taped a segment about Trump’s appearance on Days of Our Lives. Trump was heard talking about attempting to seduce a married woman as well as kissing and groping women without their consent because, in Trump’s word, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
Trump issued an apology on Twitter following the release of the footage, writing, “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course—not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”