Donald Trump has refused to apologize to Jenna Talackova for her initial disqualification from 2012 Miss Universe Canada on the basis that she was born a man. In fact, after the transgender beauty queen held a press conference regarding the controversy, the Miss Universe Organization's owner declared he couldn't care less if she now wants to compete or not.
In a phone interview with TMZ Live, the 65-year-old business magnate stated that Talackova is allowed to come back into the competition, but stressed, "There will be no apology whatsoever." He went on to say, "Frankly, if she competes, that's wonderful and if she doesn't want to compete, because maybe she thinks she can't win, that's fine also. I couldn't care less."
During Talackova's press conference in Los Angeles Tuesday, April 3, her lawyer Gloria Allred criticized Trump on how he handled the situation. "[Talackova] did not ask Mr. Trump to prove that he is a naturally-born man, or to see the photos of his birth, to view his anatomy, to prove that he was male," said the attorney. "It made no difference to her. Why should it have made a difference to him?"
In response to Allred's statement, Trump said in his phone interview, "I think Gloria Allred would be very, very, very, very impressed." The host of "The Celebrity Apprentice" continued on, "I think she would have a whole new image of Donald Trump." During the chat, he also pointed out that the whole controversy has sent ticket sales for Miss Universe Canada through the roof.
Trump Organization's executive VP Michael D. Cohen has since issued a clarifying statement to E! News. "Gloria Allred's statements to the press today pay no mind to the fact that Mr. Trump and the Miss Universe Organization made the fair and just decision in allowing Jenna to compete in the Miss Universe 2012 Canada pageant," he said.
"Mr. Trump and the Miss Universe Organization acted swiftly and appropriately. Pageant rules have been modernized to ensure this type of issue does not occur again. Gloria's arguments were made moot by the decision rendered yesterday. We hope Jenna will now turn her focus to preparing for the upcoming competition. Like all the contestants, Mr. Trump wishes Jenna the best of luck in her quest for the crown."
The Tuesday televised news conference itself saw Talackova expressing her thought on her initial disqualification. "I am a woman. I was devastated and I felt that excluding me for the reason that they gave was unjust," said the 23-year-old, who underwent gender reassignment surgery at age 19. "I have never asked for any special consideration. I only wanted to compete."
On the occasion, Talackova also shared her thought on Miss Universe Organization's statement that she's allowed to participate "provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada and the standards established by other international competitions." She said, "I saw the statement by Mr. Trump's representative that was issued yesterday, and I find it quite confusing."
"I wish Mr. Trump would just say, in plain words, whether or not I will be allowed to compete and, if I win, whether I will be allowed to represent Canada in the Miss Universe competition," she further said. "I also want Mr. Trump to clearly state that this rule will be eliminated because I do not want any other woman to suffer the discrimination that I have to endure."