Donald Trump has won $5 million in damages in a defamation suit against a disgruntled Miss USA hopeful who claimed the pageant was "fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent and in many ways trashy."
The judgment against Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin was decided by U.S. District Court Magistrate Theodore Katz, who found her statements "false" and showing "reckless disregard."
"The method in which the Miss USA Pageant is judged . . . precludes any reasonable possibility that the judging was rigged," Katz ruled, according to the New York Post
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Last June, Monnin resigned from the pageant, claiming it was "rigged" after she said a fellow contestant had seen a list of the top five Miss USA finalists before they were officially announced.
"I decided at that moment to distance myself from an organization who did not allow fair play and whose morals did not match my own," she said on her Facebook page.
Monnin was reportedly upset at Trump's decision to change the rules and allow transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova to compete for Miss Canada.
After her comments, Trump quickly filed a defamation suit.
"Going to arbitration was the appropriate action to take under the circumstances," Trump told the Post after the court ruling.
"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."
Miss Universe 2012 will be crowned Wednesday night in Las Vegas, with the event aired live on NBC at 8 p.m., Eastern time.
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