"Apprentice" Alla Uncovered

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Feb 12, 2005
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That Donald Trump sure knows how to pick a winner.

The real estate mogul recently announced the cast for the fourth season of The Apprentice, boasting that he had personally selected 17 of the 18 contestants, among them a "tough as nails" ex-stripper.

Though the official NBC bio for salon and spa chain owner Alla Wartenberg focuses on her self-made millions and fails to mention her pole-dancing past, all it took was a little digging from the super sleuths at the Smoking Gun to uncover the goods on the 31-year-old Apprentice contender.

Back in her stripper days, Wartenberg danced at Las Vegas' Palomino Club under the name Ecstasy and was involved in a "pretty platonic relationship" with convicted murderer Robert Acremant, a client of hers who apparently considered her his girlfriend.On his frequent visits to the club, Acremant would reportedly shell out between $500 and $1,500 for a night in the company of Alla/Ecstasy (or "X," as her friends called her) and eventually developed something of a cash flow problem.

Low on funds, but desperate to continue seeing his scantily-clad lady friend, Acremant attempted to rob a pair of Oregon women in 1995 but ended up killing them in a heist-gone-wrong.

Later that year, he also murdered Scott George, a friend from California, in a second robbery attempt. He was convicted of all three murders and was sentenced to death in both California and Oregon, where he is currently on Death Row.

As a result of her association with Acremant, Wartenberg was called upon to testify at his trial in Tulare County Superior Court in August 2002, where she explained that she had simply "used him for money."

"I liked him as a client," Wartenburg said, according to the court transcript. "I thought he was really nice."

Wartenberg said she would meet Acremant outside of the Palomino occasionally to share a meal. According to her testimony, on his last visit to Vegas, Acremant pulled both a stun gun and a handgun on her while they were sitting in a car and began "panicking and freaking out, telling me that he, you know, he was very upset with me because I never loved him."

Though Wartenberg escaped without injury, she told the jury that she was left "emotionally injured and scarred for life" by her encounters with Acremant.

Fast forward a decade and one finds a Wartenberg more akin to the image presented by her NBC bio, which explains that she and her parents moved to America from Russia in 1988 in pursuit of the "American Dream." Now a happily-married mother of four, the spa owner is sitting on millions and is currently at work developing her own European-derived skin and hair care lines.

After all that Wartenberg experienced in pursuit of said American Dream, we're thinking that sitting opposite Trump in the boardroom should be a piece of cake. (Maybe she should have tried out for Survivor instead.)

The fourth season of The Apprentice premieres Sept. 22.


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