Billionaire real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is suing Univision for more than $500 million in New York Supreme Court after the Spanish-language network cancelled plans to air the July 12 Miss USA pageant, according to Variety.
Trump declared his candidacy for president last week with a press conference in which he derided President Barack Obama and made several disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants. Since then, various media outlets have distanced themselves from Trump. Those outlets include his former employer, Comcast’s (CMCSA) NBCUniversal, which canceled plans to air Miss USA and Miss Universe — the network’s joint venture with Trump — while also opting not to invite Trump back for another season of his reality show The Celebrity Appearance.
In his speech last week, Trump said of Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” he said, adding: “some, I assume, are good people.” After Univision cut ties with Trump’s Miss USA Pageant, the billionaire threatened legal action, claiming: “They’ll have to pay me a lot of money.” Trump also threatened legal action against NBC, but the Univision suit is the first to actually be filed.
Tuesday’s lawsuit accuses Univision of breach of contract and defamation. In a statement, Trump says his recent remarks hue closely to opinions on immigration he’s held and stated publicly for years.
“Nothing that I stated was different from what I have been saying for many years,” Trump said. “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.”