The well-rounded Iranian-American woman who was fired as a contestant from NBC's The Apprentice seven weeks into the show explained why she was fired from the show, divulged her sole regret and revealed her surprising choices for who she felt should win the competition.
Born in Tehran, Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy left her native Iran with her
family and settled in Virginia when she was still in elementary school. Her
interest in biology led her to college, where she was pre med at the University
Despite her interest in science, the now 29-year-old reality show star was also passionate about film and television and decided to pursue her interest in New York. After graduation, Saeidi-Azcuy left her childhood home for the bright lights of New York, where she hoped to gain experience in the film industry.
"The week after I graduated I moved to New York," Saeidi-Azcuy told the Iran Times. "I love it here. I imagine I'll die here," she laughed. It was in New York that she met her Puerto Rican-Cuban-American husband. The two shared their two year anniversary Monday.
Once in New York, Saeidi-Azcuy enrolled in the New York Film Academy while simultaneously working there and at the Ridley Scott Film Production House. After getting her filmmaking certificate, she decided to try something new. "I was making $90 a day at the time, working 13 plus hours a day," Saeidi-Azcuy told the Iran Times. "So I decided to go to law school."
With a pre med degree and experience working in the film industry, the eclectic Saeidi-Azucy decided to take on a completely different challenge--law school. Saeidi-Azucy, known on The Apprentice for her strong personality, credited her time at the Brooklyn Law School with her confident demeanor. "I went to law school, it gave me a lot of confidence," she told the Iran Times.
Saeidi-Azucy wasn't the only one who noticed her own confident and tough personality. In one of the very first episodes this season, Trump's daughter Ivanka said, "Mahsa, you're a very strong person and you have very, very strong opinions..." But Trump initially attributed her strong personality to her role as a prosecutor, saying she was "tough."
According to Saeidi-Azcuy, however, it was that tough, confident personality that caused some of the girls on the show to see her as a threat.
"A lot of people on the show are manipulative and strategic and act in a way so that nobody tries to go after you. If you don't seem like a threat, people will think, 'She'll be easily killed off' and they won't go after you. But after the first boardroom, there was a big X on my back. Some of my teammates were against me; that wasn't easy," she said.
When asked if the woman portrayed on the show was the real Saeidi-Azcuy, she said, "Absolutely. I stayed true to who I was and I don't regret any of it. The only thing I will say, is that sometimes the blond girls would snicker at me but they wouldn't show what the girls would say. They would show my reactions without showing their instigations. But that's me. I'm fabulous and I have a better future than all of them," she told the Iran Times, adding that last week she was a legal correspondent on Fox News discussing a potential murder dubbed the Honey Moon Killer case.
As for regrets, she told the Iran Times that if given another chance, she would have stayed strong and not broken down during her last boardroom session. "I would have never mentally broken down," she told the Iran Times, "but I just wanted it to stop. During the episode I was fired, we were in the board room for four hours with Trump verbally attacking me. I was pointed at and lashed out at and I was told that I was a horrible prosecutor. But you know, I was a strong character and it was like they were trying to 'slay the dragon.' I was like please just fire me. Get me out of here!" she told the Iran Times.
Despite how things ended, Saeidi-Azcuy said she didn't regret being on the show because it has been a long dream of hers. "I had never tried out for a reality show before trying out for The Apprentice. It was a dream of mine to be on The Apprentice. I just really saw myself kicking butt. I used to have a lot of respect for Donald Trump."
When asked who she thought deserved to win from both the men's and the women's team, she said, "Actually, this might sound surprising, but Liza. Despite everything I said [on the show], she has always been one of my favorites. I love her and we're still friends. From the men's team, I'd say Stewart. They're the most honest, respectful people left. I think they have the most integrity."
Having resigned from her job working in the District Attorney's office in Brooklyn after her bosses found out she had taken a two month leave of absence to compete on The Apprentice, and having been fired from the show, Saeidi-Azcuy is now debating her next move. "For the past five years I've been doing segments on government officials, about the DA's office, about congressmen and Brooklyn. So I've been wanting to be some television personality. I went to law school, it gave me a lot of confidence. I loved being a prosecutor. But a lot of people have contacted me because of my time on the Apprentice and now I'm looking to move on to something new," she said, adding, "I am grateful for the experience, but I chose to stand up for myself and speak out against Mr. Trump and because of that I was punished," Saeidi-Azcuy told the Iran Times.
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