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Donald Trump wins $5 million in pageant victory over former Miss USA contestant Sheena Monnin

3:44 PM, Dec 18, 2012   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Miss Universe 2012 Prelims
In this photo provided by the Miss Universe Organization, Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin competes during the 2012 Miss USA Presentation Show on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Las Vegas.

 

(USA TODAY) -- In June, Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin claimed a fellow contestant had seen a list of the top five Miss USA winners before they were officially announced. Monnin publicly blasted the pageant, saying it was "fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent and in many ways trashy."

Donald Trump fired back immediately, suing on behalf of the Miss Universe Organization (which runs the Miss USA competition). He filed an arbitration action in New York.

Now, the New York Post reports a judge has ruled that Monnin defamed the Miss Universe Organization and awarded it $5 million in damages. U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz Judge found that "the method in which the Miss USA Pageant is judged . . . precludes any reasonable possibility that the judging was rigged."

Katz stated that Monnin's "defamatory" statements "were false" and "showed a reckless disregard."

Trump on Monday night told The Post, "Going to arbitration was the appropriate action to take under the circumstances, and while I feel very badly for Sheena, she did the wrong thing. She was really nasty, and we had no choice. It is an expensive lesson for her."

And the timing is perfect. Miss Universe 2012 will be crowned Wednesday night in a show airing live from Las Vegas on NBC at 8 p.m. ET. Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic will host. 

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