Trump sues Univision for $500 million over Miss USA cancellation

Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:11pm EDT
 
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By Joseph Ax

(Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump filed a $500 million lawsuit on Tuesday against Univision over the Spanish-language TV network's decision to end its contract to broadcast the Miss USA pageant, which is co-owned by Trump.

Univision said last week it would not air the July 12 pageant because of what it called insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants made by Trump when he announced he was running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

The 19-page lawsuit accuses Univision of a "thinly veiled attempt" to stifle Trump's freedom of speech in order to boost Democratic frontrunner Hilary Clinton. The network's principal owner, Haim Saban, is a Clinton fundraiser, according to the lawsuit.

While officially announcing his candidacy on June 16, Trump accused Mexico of sending rapists and other criminals to the United States.

"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," he said at the time.

In a statement on Tuesday announcing the lawsuit, which he had vowed to file, Trump refused to back down from his comments.

"Nothing that I stated was different from what I have been saying for many years," he said. "There is a high level of crime occurring in this country due to unchecked illegal immigration."

Nevertheless, he added that he has "great respect for Mexico and love for the Mexican people and their tremendous spirit."   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