Real estate mogul Donald Trump has filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision in response to the Spanish-speaking network’s decision to abandon broadcast of the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. Citing Univision’s suppression of free speech, breach of contract and defamation, the Trump Organization issued a statement declaring:
“Under the contract, Univision is required to broadcast the pageant live on television in Spanish. While Univision claims its decision came solely in response to comments by Mr. Trump during a June 16 campaign speech announcing his candidacy for President of the United States, the decision was, in reality, a politically motivated attempt to suppress Mr. Trump’s freedom of speech under the First Amendment as he begins to campaign for the nation’s presidency.”
Univision has responded to the lawsuit and declared it “factually false and legally ridiculous.” Univision spokesperson, Monica Talan continued:
“We will not only vigorously defend the case, but will continue to fight against Mr. Trump’s ongoing efforts to run away from the derogatory comments he made on June 16th about Mexican immigrants. Our decision to end our business relationship with Mr. Trump was influenced solely by our responsibility to speak up for the community we serve.”
Trump’s attorneys filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on Tuesday. In an interview which aired on Fox News Tuesday, Trump told Bill O’Reilly the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageant contestants have been totally abandoned by NBC and Univision.
On Wednesday morning, Macy’s, the retail giant, severed ties with Trump and announced it would no longer carry the Trump menswear line.[NPR] [Deadline.com] [USA Today]