BBC show The Apprentice was rocked after two contestants were involved in a furious brawl.
Selina Waterman-Smith and Charleine Wain, both 31, left fellow competitors stunned with their bust-up outside the boardroom — and the pair then threatened to quit.
A source said: “Selina has claimed that Charleine banged into her and she then pushed her back.
“Everyone was shocked and producers had to step in.”
The fight, the first in the hit show’s ten-year history, was apparently sparked after a heated boardroom
argument, which BBC producers left out of the final edit.
On last Wednesday’s show Selina negotiated for a deal on a batch of snails and was filmed telling a French seller: “My dog is dead, my mother is dead, my father is dead.”
Show sources allege that — in scenes which were cut — Charleine later told Lord Sugar in the boardroom that using their deaths to get a discount was “disgusting”.
Selina furiously denied the accusations and insisted her comments were purely meant in jest.
But trouble flared once the losing girls’ team left the boardroom — with both Selina and Charleine disputing the other’s version of events
Selina told a pal: “As I leaned over to get my coat Charleine banged into me from behind. It was so obviously deliberate and aggressive.
“The force was enough to make me stumble forward and that’s why I spun around. I started yelling at her to never talk about my parents again.
“She was right in my face and started screaming at me, telling me I should be fired. She came into my personal space and that’s when I pushed her back.
“When Charleine’s screaming she’s aggressive and scary. She is a lot bigger than me. I was hysterical and crying my eyes out.”
But ex-Royal Navy servicewoman Charleine rubbished Selina’s claims.
A pal said: “Charleine had gone through the boardroom door after her team finished their discussion about losing the task.
“Selina left the boardroom after Charleine, pushed her and then started shouting at her.
“Charleine was completely in shock. She didn’t want to retaliate and make the situation worse. She took the dignified response and walked away.” Events owner Selina was immediately called into a crisis meeting with senior producers after she threatened to leave.
She continued to a pal: “I told them I was leaving and demanded they get my suitcase. I was so upset that they hadn’t thought to shut the conversation in the boardroom down.
“They told me that they would cut the boardroom scenes. They promised to keep Charleine and I separate and told me that we wouldn’t be on the same team again.”
Charleine, now a hair and beauty salon owner, insists she also told producers she wanted to quit.
Her pal continued: “Charleine was upset and shocked by the incident. She spoke at length to both the production team and her husband Scott.
“He was very supportive and reminded her that it was the opportunity of a lifetime and she decided she wanted to continue in the process and do her best for herself and her family. She wanted to put the incident behind her.”
Selina, a former podium dancer who lives in Dubai, told her pal there had been friction between the pair from the start.
She said the resulting tension caused her to have terrifying panic attacks, with a particularly severe one after filming had finished on the first episode.
Selina, who also suffers from chronic fatigue, continued to her friend: “That night I had an anxiety attack at around 1am and everyone was sleeping. It feels like I can’t breathe and that I’m drowning.
“I went upstairs and woke one of the producers up and told them that I had to leave the show because I couldn’t deal with it. I made a formal complaint.”
After completing filming, Selina has since been upset by a series of tweets from Charleine and hubby Scott.
One from Scott read: “#moralvacuum! Well done Charleine. Who uses their dead dog, dead mum and dead dad to negotiate! Someone throttle #selina #theapprentice.” He also posted: “You’re like an irritating wasp at a picnic #selina!!!”
Selina’s mum Heather died of cervical cancer when she was three and dad Alan passed away from a stroke three years ago.
And she told a concerned pal: “I feel like Charleine is trolling me on Twitter and I have reported it to the producers as it’s really intimidating.
“She got in trouble for her tweets. Producers told me that it was completely unacceptable and they had told her they needed removing otherwise she would get in big trouble.”
Selina continued: “I don’t know what her problem is but she seemed very much fixated on me. It sounds arrogant but normally when women have an issue it is down to jealously.
“I’m such a strong feisty person but I don’t want to be involved with bullying. I wasn’t the only woman in the house who she seemed to have a problem with. She wasn’t very popular.”
Last night a spokesperson for The Apprentice said: “The situation was dealt with quickly and professionally.
“We take our duty of care to the candidates very seriously and strongly refute any allegations to the contrary. Candidates are free to leave the process at any time.”
Responding to claims about Charleine and Scott’s tweets, the spokesperson added: “We are in regular contact with candidates and offer guidance where appropriate.”
A show insider said of the row: “Selina pushed Charleine after they argued. It was a quick, single push which was witnessed by several people including members of the show team.
“At no point did Charleine initiate physical contact or respond to Selina’s push. Candidates are given psychological support before, during and after the process.”