Sometime in 1996, Donald Trump buys the Miss Universe Organization, which includes Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA. Over the years, many of the contestants come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by Trump. Some are as young as 15 years old.
Trump buys the pageant because he doesn’t like that the judges are impressed by women who are smart. “They had a person that was extremely proud that a number of the women had become doctors, and I wasn’t interested,” Trump tells Howard Stern in 2005.
During the 1996 pageant, Trump harasses Miss Venezuela, Alicia Machado, and puts her on display like a prize pig at a state fair.
Machado remembers him calling her “Miss Piggy” because she gained weight and “Miss Housekeeping” because she’s Latina. Trump invited reporters to observe Machado exercising, against her protests. She told The New York Times earlier this year, “I was about to cry in that moment with all the cameras there. I said, ‘I don’t want to do this, Mr. Trump.’ He said, ‘I don’t care.’”Rolling Stone
Four 1997 contestants later claim Trump watched them undress in the changing rooms. One of those then-teenagers tells Ivanka Trump what her father is doing. Ivanka shrugs it off with “Yeah, he does that.”
He’s still watching girls undress years later.
Trump denies the accusations despite bragging to Stern that he watches the girls and women undress.
Trump is also accused of forcing the girls to rate each other, splitting girls into two groups to get a good look at the girls he finds attractive, and kissing girls without their permission. He’s actually on tape talking about making sure the girls he’s most attracted to remain in the pageant.
The recording catches Trump talking up Eric to the contestants, bragging about his looks and apparently trying to find a girl for him. Eric, a Miss USA judge, is already dating his future wife at the time.
When asked if he’s ever slept with contestants, Donald Trump doesn’t give a straight answer but says sleeping with them might be his “obligation” as owner of the pageant.
A less talked-about piece of this story is that pageant winners receive a free place to live in one of Trump’s buildings until the next year’s pageant. This is a tactic Trump uses to control people.
Trump is forced to sell the pageant in September 2015 after backlash from the pageant’s hosts, judges, sponsors, and broadcasters following his comments about Mexican immigrants.
Photo: Unknown, found on Rolling Stone