Real estate mogul Donald Trump has emerged victorious in his ugly legal battle with Sheena Monnin, the former Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012 who resigned after publicly alleging that the pageant was “fixed” and “trashy.”
Monnin quit the competition last June, just days after winning the title, claiming that a fellow contestant had seen a list containing the top five winners before they were officially announced. “I knew the show must be rigged,” she wrote in a Facebook post. The brunette beauty then publicly blasted the pageant as “fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent and in many ways trashy.”
But Trump, who runs the Miss Universe Organization, refuted Monnin’s claims, and told Good Morning America, “We’re going to be suing her now because she made a charge and she said that it’s fixed, and now it turns out that it wasn’t fixed […] she suffers from a thing called loser’s remorse.” Later that week, the Miss Universe Organization filed arbitration action for defamation, seeking “significant damages” from Monnin for smearing the organization.
Late last week a district court judge ruled in favor of Trump and awarded him $5 million in damages, reports the New York Post. The judge found that “the method in which the Miss USA Pageant is judged . . . precludes any reasonable possibility that the judging was rigged” and stated that Monnin’s “defamatory” statements “were false” and “showed a reckless disregard.”
Though Trump is undeniably pleased with his legal victory, part of him feels bad for Monnin and hopes she learned from the experience. “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,” he revealed. “She was really nasty, and we had no choice. It is an expensive lesson for her.”