There's A Scene In The New Donald Trump Biopic That Left Audiences Shocked

Jeremy Strong as Roy Cohn and Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump in Ali Abbasi's film
Jeremy Strong as Roy Cohn and Sebastian Stan as Donald Trump in Ali Abbasi's film "The Apprentice." Cannes Film Festival/ The Apprentice

The new Donald Trump biopic, “The Apprentice,” includes what some critics and audience members are describing as a scene where a young Trump rapes his then-wife, Ivana.

In the movie, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday night, Ivana Trump (played by Maria Bakalova) shows Donald (Sebastian Stan) a book about the female orgasm. According to Variety, Donald then tells Ivana he isn’t attracted to her and throws her on the ground and penetrates her, saying, “Is that your G-spot? Did I find it?”

The scene drew gasps from the Cannes audience, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Many reviews and articles about the movie describe it as a rape scene, though not all do. Some viewers who saw it at the Cannes Film Festival told Variety they considered it a depiction of “rape” or “sexual assault.”

Ivana Trump accused Donald of rape in a divorce deposition in 1990. Donald Trump denied the accusation, and Ivana later said the incident left her feeling “violated” but not raped “in a literal or criminal sense.” She died in 2022.

In May, a jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation in a lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll. In her 2019 book, “What Do We Need Men For,” Carroll wrote that Trump raped her in a New York City dressing room in 1996.

“The Apprentice” has been criticized for doing too much to humanize Trump, who was president from 2017 to 2021 and who is currently facing charges in four indictments. At least 23 women have accused him of various acts of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Ali Abbasi directed the movie, which chronicles Trump’s career as a real estate businessman in the 1970s and ’80s. He said in a news conference that the film is about deconstructing mythological-like figures and humanizing them. “The most despicable monster that you can think of... also liked a dog or fell for someone or was nice to somebody at some point,” Abbasi said.

Abbasi’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Emails to the representatives of Gabriel Sherman, the film’s writer, were not immediately returned.

Trump’s campaign said that Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, will sue the filmmakers “to address the blatantly false assertions.”

Greta Gerwig, Cannes’ jury president, said that she watches every film “with an open mind and an open heart.”

“I don’t want to make any assumptions about what [‘The Apprentice’] is, but I very much look forward to it,” she said. “I look forward to all the films.”

Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said that Trump has been indicted for four criminal charges. He has been indicted in four criminal cases.