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Donald Trump and the Miss Universe Organization won a huge legal victory against Sheena Monnin, the former Miss Pennsylvania contestant who made headlines over the summer by claiming that the show was rigged.
Back in June, Monnin announced her resignation, claiming that she heard from another contestant that there was a list of the Top 5 contestants before the show even began. “I knew the show must be rigged,” she wrote in a lengthy Facebook post at the time. “I decided at that moment to distance myself from an organization who did not allow fair play and whose morals did not match my own. That is all I know about this.”
After the allegations went public, Trump himself went on a media blitz to discredit her and threatened to sue if she didn’t recant. She never did and Trump went ahead and sued her.
The suit came to an end on Monday, when US District Court Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz awarded the Miss Universe Organization and Trump $5 million in damages, reports The New York Post.
“The method in which the Miss USA Pageant is judged . . . precludes any reasonable possibility that the judging was rigged,” the judge ruled. He called Monnin’s statements “defamatory,” noting that they “were false” and “showed a reckless disregard.”
Trump said her actions were “disgraceful.”
“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,” Trump added.
Monnin’s lawyer did not return the Post’s calls for a comment.