Donald Trump didn’t take it lightly when former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin went on a media blitz accusing Trump’s Miss USA pageant of being rigged. In June, Trump’s Miss Universe organisation sued Monnin for defamation after she alleged that the top five pageant finishers were selected before the show even started.
Trump had given the former pageant queen 24 hours to retract her statements, but she refused to do so.
The case went to arbitration and on Tuesday, a retired judge ruled that the beauty queen did, in fact, defame the organisation, and awarded it $5 million in damages.
Trump, naturally, released a statement Tuesday on the matter (via TMZ):
“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. 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.”
In June, Monnin talked to Ann Curry, standing by her claims: “I know what I heard and I know what I, in turn, witnessed come true based on the list the contestant saw…I believe her to be true.”
The contestant who initially made the claims said she was joking, but Monnin says her “years of psychological training” led her to believe the contestant was serious and then back-tracked.
Watch the June interview below: