“It’s gonna be huge!” boasts Donald Trump about darn near everything in his life, from his notoriously sensational television show The Apprentice to his own personal brand of frozen steaks. In fact, even his lawsuits are huge. Earlier today, the multi-billionaire upped the ante in his public feud with Univision, announcing a $500 million lawsuit against the Spanish-language television network. According to the New York Times, Trump’s civil action alleges that Univision violated a five-year, $13.5 billion dollar contract with Trump Organization when the network announced it will no longer carry the Spanish-language edition of the Miss USA beauty pageant.
As previously reported by Inquisitr, Univision cut ties with Donald Trump following some inflammatory comments made by Trump regarding Mexican immigrants. During a speech announcing his presidential campaign, Trump decried the flow of illegal immigrants from south of the United States border, complaining of an influx of crime, drugs, and rapists from Mexico. The backlash was swift and certain, as many, including Univision, roundly condemned Trump’s comments. Trump responded by blacklisting Univision’s top brass from his golf course.
In a statement announcing the civil suit, Donald Trump reaffirmed the statements he made during his campaign launch.
“Nothing that I stated was different from what I have been saying for many years,” he said in comments quoted by Huffington Post. “There is a high level of crime occurring in this country due to unchecked illegal immigration.”
He also touted the legal maneuver via Twitter.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2015
Univision acknowledged the development with a bluntly worded statement, taking issue with Trump’s legal strategy as well as his personal sentiments.
“We just reviewed Mr. Trump’s complaint for the first time, and it is both factually false and legally ridiculous,” Univision said in a statement excerpted by the New York Times. “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 16 about Mexican immigrants.”
For Donald Trump’s part, he maintains that Univision is attempting to stifle his freedom of speech as well as engaging in clandestine support of the anticipated Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. Huffington Post notes that Trump’s suit alleges that Univision’s principal owner Haim Saban is a fundraiser for the Clinton camp. A footnote to the full complaint indicates that the Saban Family Foundation committed $30.5 million in grants and contributions to the Clinton Foundation between 2009 and 2013.
Donald Trump’s lawsuit signals something of an ugly denouement to his business relationship with Univision, as both sides are now firmly entrenched for a lengthy court battle. With half a billion dollars on the line, the spoils of this clash of titans will be huge, indeed.
[Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images]