Donald Trump to sue Univision for dropping Miss USA pageant: lawyer

Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:04pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate developer, is planning to sue U.S. Spanish-language TV network Univision for hundreds of millions of dollars for dropping coverage of the Miss USA pageant, which he partly owns, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Michael Cohen, the executive vice president and special counsel to Trump, said he was finalizing a retainer agreement with outside counsel.

"We intend to pursue all legal rights and remedies available to Mr. Trump pursuant to the terms of the license agreement as well as a defamation case against Univision," he said. "The lawsuit is going to be for hundreds of millions of dollars."

Univision said on Thursday that it would not air the Miss USA pageant on July 12 because of what it called insulting remarks by Trump about Mexican immigrants.

During his speech last week announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Republican presidential nomination, Trump accused Mexico of sending rapists and criminals to the United States.

"They're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing their problems," he said. "They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some I assume are good people, but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting."

Univision [UVN.UL] said it would also sever ties with the Miss Universe Organization, a joint venture between Trump and Comcast-owned NBCUniversal.

In an interview with Fox News on Thursday, Trump said he had a signed contract with Univision.   Continued...

Donald Trump, co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization, poses with Miss Connecticut Erin Brady at a news conference after she was crowned Miss USA 2013 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada in a June 16, 2013 file photo.  REUTERS/Steve Marcus/files