Donald Trump buys Miss Universe, harasses contestants

The Trump Timeline

Sources linked at end of page.


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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.

He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Other girls were naked… the people that worked for him [were] telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him, get his attention.

Tasha Dixon, 2001 Miss Arizona

Trump denies the accusations despite bragging to Stern that he watches the girls and women undress.

I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else… You know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore I’m inspecting it… You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.

Donald J. Trump

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.

We get to choose a certain number [of contestants who will be guaranteed to make it through the first round]. You know why we do that? Because years ago when I first bought it, we chose ten people, I chose none and I get here and the most beautiful people were not chosen. And I went nuts. So we call it the Trump Rule.

Donald J. Trump

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.

He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room.

Cassandra Searles, Miss Washington 2013 (Miss USA 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.

Please send Trump File a tweet or email if you can find a specific date that Trump bought the Miss Universe Organization.

External Sources

The Atlantic (Archived)

Rolling Stone (Archived)

Business Insider (Archived)

The New York Times (Archived)

Photo: Unknown, found on Rolling Stone

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