Sheena Monnin Must Pay Donald Trump $5 Million, Judge Rules

Sheena Monnin must pay Donald Trump $5 million for defaming his Miss U.S.A. and Miss Universe beauty pageant on Today in June 2012. She had claimed that she saw a list of the five finalists before the pageant even began — which Trump and the pageant organizers said was untrue.

According to a New York Daily News report, Sheena Monnin said that she privately texted Randy Sanders, the organizer of Miss Pennsylvania, the state she was slated to represent. In that text, she reportedly said, “This is f***ing rigged, Randy. Seriously Colorado? South Carolina? I’m done. It’s obviously rigged so the girls they want can shine.”

She also claimed that the contest was rigged on in June 4, 2012 Facebook post that appears to have since been removed. Monnin resigned from the contest and began a campaign that she said raised awareness of how beauty pageants were fixed.

Whether it did or it didn’t, the Miss Universe pageant organizers said that the controversy caused British Petroleum to cancel a $5 million sponsorship.

In December, a federal arbitrator ruled that Sheena Monnin would have to pay the $5 million in losses to Donald Trump’s Miss Universe Organization.

A Daily Mail report described the brouhaha as a possible misunderstanding or overreaction by Sheena Monnin. The erstwhile Miss Pennsylvania has said that Miss Florida, Karina Brez, told her that she’d spotted the folder with the list of the winners already filled in.

However, Brez has said that she was just joking around:

“It was a throwaway comment, in the stress of the pageant, and was never meant as fact. The list I saw didn’t even have the eventual winner on it.”

On Tuesday, the Southern District Court of New York upheld the $5 million award to Donald Trump’s organization. However, Monnin may not yet be prepared to let go. On a new statement on her Facebook page she said:

“Standing on truth has cost me much, but now the public knows that the MUO [Miss Universe Organization] does in fact exercise Paragraph 3 of the Miss USA Contract — the paragraph that gives them the right to make contestant selections during the pageant.

“Last June, I was contacted by a Federal Investigator…During the meeting, we discussed Paragraph 3 and how this was different than what the MUO advertises. I was told that it is mail fraud to advertise one thing to the public and to do another. The investigators needed proof of this. They are now in possession of this proof contained in the transcripts of the arbitration hearing.”

The Donald is never a gracious winner. He didn’t miss the opportunity to crow on Twitter about the big win:

It isn’t clear what Sheena Monnin can do next. It’s unlikely that she can pay — and it seems equally unlikely that many of even her most devoted supporters would donate more money only to see it handed over to Donald Trump.

My guess — and it’s only that — is that she will have to clear the debt by declaring bankruptcy.

What do you think comes next for Sheena Monnin after the devastating ruling that she must pay $5 million to Donald Trump?

[Sheena Monnin via Facebook]

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