Beauty Trumped — to the Tune of $5 Million — in Ugly Legal Battle Over Miss Universe Pageant

Dec 18, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Donald Trump won a $5 million ruling in a nasty legal battle with former Miss USA hopeful Sheena Monnin, the New York Post reports. Monnin, who won the state title for Pennsylvania, had become disenchanted with the beauty pageant, calling it “fixed” and “trashy.”

“Monnin quit the competition in June, claiming a fellow contestant had seen a list containing the top five winners before they were officially announced. She blasted the pageant as ‘fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent and in many ways trashy,’” the story reports.

“That didn’t go down well with The Donald, who fired back that he was suing on behalf of the Miss Universe Organization, which filed an arbitration action in New York.”

The ruling from retired U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz came down late last week. “Katz ruled that Monnin defamed the Miss Universe Organization, and awarded it $5 million in damages,” the piece reports. “He found that ‘the method in which the Miss USA Pageant is judged … precludes any reasonable possibility that the judging was rigged.’ Katz stated that Monnin’s ‘defamatory’ statements ‘were false’ and ‘showed a reckless disregard.’”

Trump, who called Monnin’s actions “disgraceful,” added: “We cannot allow a disgruntled contestant to make false and reckless statements which are damaging to the many people who have devoted their hearts and souls to the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageant systems.”

Commenting on Monnin, Trump added: “She was angry that she lost, she went on the ‘Today’ show and she said really bad stuff. You can’t rig the celebrity judges. Ernst & Young tabulate the results, and they were unbelievably upset about her comments.

“Going to arbitration was the appropriate action to take under the circumstances, and while I feel very badly for Sheena, she did the wrong thing. She was really nasty, and we had no choice. It is an expensive lesson for her.”

sheena-monnin2.jpgSheena Monnin

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