When Univision decided to cut ties with Donald Trump and the Miss Universe pageant after racist remarks he made about immigrants, the real estate mogul vowed to go after the network. On Tuesday, Trump filed a $500 million lawsuit against the network, claiming the Hispanic cable network violated its contract with him and his Miss Universe Organization.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
Trump claims in the lawsuit that his Miss Universe Organization sealed a $13.5 million licensing deal in January in which Univision agreed to broadcast the organization’s pageants from 2015 through 2019.
“Simply stated, there is nothing in the Agreement which gives Univision the right to terminate its relationship with [the Miss Universe Organization],” states the complaint, which was filed in the New York State Supreme Court by Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman’s Jeffrey Goldman.
The complaint includes claims of breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. In a separate claim of intentional interference with contractual relations, Trump accuses Univision of “engaging in behind the scenes lobbying of their former colleagues” at NBC, leading the network to terminate its relationship with him.
NBC severed ties with Trump shortly after Univision, leaving the Miss Universe pageant without an English or Spanish language broadcaster.
Trump is also suing for defamation, claiming false statements by Univision and its executives have “despoiled” his image. The statements include this Instagram post by Univision Networks president of programming and content Alberto Ciurana. (Wow. Trump actually has a point there. That executive crossed a line. Unprofessional).
Says Trump in the statement:
“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. 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.”
“We just reviewed Mr. Trump’s complaint for the first time, and it is both factually false and legally ridiculous. 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.”
In other news:
- The pageant is still scheduled to proceed on July 12 in Baton Rouge. The event will live stream from the Miss Universe Official Website. More information about the pageant will be available soon.
- Co-hosts, dance pro, Cheryl Burke and MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts have stepped down.
- Cheryl posted a statement on her Facebook page: “In light of the recent statements made by Donald Trump and the subsequent decision by NBC to cut ties with Mr. Trump, I cannot in good conscience move forward with participating in this year’s Miss USA Pageant as its co-host, Effective today I have withdrawn from my duties with Miss USA. Although I will not be there in person, I wish all of the contestants much luck as I know how hard they’ve all been working over the last year to try and realize their dreams.”
- Roberts tweeted, “Best of luck to all #MissUSA2015 contestants this year & THX to the good people behind the scenes @MissUniverse – been a joy working w/you!”