The battle continues to escalate between Donald Trump and a number of his former partners in the wake of comments the real estate mogul made during his presidential kickoff speech that many observers consider inflammatory.
The AP reports that Trump filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision after the Spanish-language network pulled out from its deal to televise Trump’s Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.
The suit “claims breach of contract, defamation and First Amendment violations, and contends Univision turned on him because it supports Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton for president,” the AP reports.
Univision responded with a statement calling the lawsuit “factually false and legally ridiculous,” and indicating that the network will “continue to fight against Mr. Trump’s ongoing efforts to run away from the derogatory comments he made.”
As we reported previously, Trump made a number of remarks aimed at Mexican immigrants during his June 16 campaign launch, including implying that many Mexicans in the U.S. are criminals, drug users and rapists. Univision responded by severing ties last week with Trump, and NBC followed suit this week.
“On Tuesday, a TV company backed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim said it was scrapping a project in development with [Trump], and Mexico announced it won’t be sending a contestant to the Miss Universe contest, which Slim partly owns,” the AP reports, noting that Ora TV, in which Slim holds a majority interest, did not give details about the project it is scrapping.
Ora TV produces “Larry King Now” and “Off the Grid with Jesse Ventura,” among other programming.
The AP report adds: “A day after Televisa, the Mexican TV network that airs Miss Universe, said there would be no telecast for the next contest, Miss Mexico pageant director Lupita Jones said Mexico would boycott Miss Universe.”
Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Trump refused to back down from the remarks that set off the firestorm, calling his comments “totally accurate.” He focused on the impact the exodus from the pageant is having on the Miss USA contestants.
“We have 50 of the most lovely women you’ve ever seen right now in Louisiana, and they have been abandoned by NBC and abandoned by Univision,” Trump said. He added: “They have been crushed.”
Both TV personalities who were set to co-host the July 12 pageant in Baton Rouge, Cheryl Burke of “Dancing with the Stars” and Thomas Roberts of MSNBC, pulled out from the event Tuesday.
Meanwhile, other parts of the Trump empire have also been impacted, including the announcement that the Ricky Martin Foundation was withdrawing a golf tournament that had been slated to be held at the Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. The event was reportedly moved to the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort.
CNN reports that Macy’s pulled Donald Trump-branded merchandise from its stores, issuing a statement today in which the retailer said: “We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico. We do not believe the disparaging characterizations portray an accurate picture of the many Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latinos who have made so many valuable contributions to the success of our nation. In light of statements made by Donald Trump, which are inconsistent with Macy’s values, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump and will phase-out the Trump menswear collection, which has been sold at Macy’s since 2004.”