Real estate developer Donald Trump said Tuesday that he filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision after the television network severed ties with him last week.
The presidential candidate said the basis of his lawsuit is an alleged breach of contract between Trump’s Miss Universe Organization and Univision, the US’ largest Spanish-language which Trump claims is obligated to broadcast the upcoming Miss USA pageant.
Univision, NBC, and others canceled their business relationships with Trump after he made controversial comments about Mexican immigrants to the US. In doing so, Trump claimed the networks have unfairly damaged the pageant’s participants.
“As a consequence of their inappropriate actions, Univision and NBC have abandoned fifty one wonderful young women who have come from all over the United States to pursue their dream of being crowned Miss USA,” Trump said in a statement announcing his lawsuit. “Their participation in this globally renowned pageant has come at great cost and after years of sacrifice and hard work. NBC and Univision have wronged them greatly.”
For its part, Univision declined to weigh in on Trump’s lawsuit.
“We are not commenting,” a spokeswoman, Rosemary Mercedes, told Business Insider.
Trump’s statement also defended his controversial statements about Mexico. While raging against illegal immigration at his campaign launch, the real estate mogul accused Mexico of sending its rapists and drug dealers to the US.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best; they’re not sending you,” Trump said in his announcement speech, according to a transcript. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
However, Trump insisted there was nothing new about what he said, and added that he respects the Mexican people.
“I have great respect for Mexico and love for the Mexican people and their tremendous spirit! However, their leaders and trade negotiators are far smarter than those representing the United States, and our citizens and economy are suffering greatly as a result. We have to remedy the situation and do it fast,” his statement continued.
View the full Trump announcement below:
Donald J. Trump Files $500 Million Suit Against Univision
(New York, NY) June 30th, 2015 –Today, Donald J. Trump, owner of the Miss Universe Organization (“MUO”), filed a $500 million lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against Univision Networks & Studios, Inc. (“Univision”) arising from Univision’s decision last week to abruptly terminate its contract with MUO and not broadcast the upcoming Miss USA pageant scheduled to take place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 12, 2015.
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, 2015 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. Prior to violating the contract, a high ranking Univision executive called and apologized to Mr. Trump explaining that the company’s actions were wrong and that they felt ashamed. Aside from this conversation, the only written notice received by Mr. Trump to date has been in the form of a press release Univision widely distributed to the media.
Mr. Trump says, “Nothing that I stated was different from what I have been saying for many years. I want strong borders, and I do not support or condone illegal immigration. There is a high level of crime occurring in this country due to unchecked illegal immigration. This is a major security issue for the United States. Additionally, the terrible trade deals our government is routinely entering into with Mexico are causing great financial harm to our country. We are losing a huge number of jobs, manufacturing opportunities and money due to poorly negotiated trade deals, a fact that undisputable. That won’t happen if I become president— this disturbing trend will end and it will end quickly.”
Mr. Trump continued, “I have great respect for Mexico and love for the Mexican people and their tremendous spirit! However, their leaders and trade negotiators are far smarter than those representing the United States, and our citizens and economy are suffering greatly as a result. We have to remedy the situation and do it fast. These have long been my views and I have the courage, unlike many others, to express them. As a consequence of their inappropriate actions, Univision and NBC have abandoned fifty one wonderful young women who have come from all over the United States to pursue their dream of being crowned Miss USA. Their participation in this globally renowned pageant has come at great cost and after years of sacrifice and hard work. NBC and Univision have wronged them greatly. Mr. Trump added, “I want to tell these contestants that the show will go on and I will be in Baton Rouge on July 12th to support them.”
Donald Trump: Here’s the Obama official I’d fire first