Donald Trump beauty pageants
From 1996 until 2015, when he sold his interests, Trump owned part or all of the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA beauty pageants. Among the most recognized beauty pageants in the world, the Miss Universe pageant was founded in 1952 by the California clothing company Pacific Mills.
Trump was dissatisfied with how CBS scheduled his pageants, and took both Miss Universe and Miss USA to NBC in 2002. In 2006, Miss USA winner Tara Conner tested positive for cocaine, but Trump let her keep the crown, for the sake of giving her a second chance. That decision by Trump was criticized by Rosie O’Donnell, which led to a very blunt and personal rebuttal by Trump criticizing O’Donnell. In 2012, Trump won a $5 million arbitration award against a contestant who claimed the show was rigged.
In 2015, NBC and Univision both ended their business relationships with the Miss Universe Organization after Trump’s controversial 2015 presidential campaign remarks about Mexican illegal immigrants. Trump subsequently filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision, alleging a breach of contract and defamation.
On September 11, 2015, Trump announced that he had become the sole owner of the Miss Universe Organization by purchasing NBC’s stake, and that he had “settled” his lawsuits against the network, though it was unclear whether Trump had yet filed lawsuits against NBC. He sold his own interests in the pageant shortly afterwards, to WME/IMG. The lawsuit against Univision was settled in February 2016, but terms of the settlement were not disclosed.