Former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin, who was entangled in a defamation lawsuit brought by Donald Trump, has lost in court. Wenn reported that on Tuesday, July 2, Judge J. Paul Oetken upheld an arbitrator's decision that she would pay $5 million to the property mogul and TV personality.
Monnin, who competed at 2012 Miss USA, accused the pageant of choosing the winners ahead of time. She launched the allegation along with an announcement of her giving up her post as Miss Pennsylvania. On a Facebook post as well as an interview with "Today" show, she claimed that Miss Florida Karina Brez saw a list of the top five contestants at the backstage.
"Apparently the morning of June 3rd [Brez] saw a folder lying open to a page that said 'FINAL SHOW Telecast, June 3, 2012' and she saw the places for Top 5 already filled in. After the Top 16 were called and we were standing backstage she hesitantly said to me and another contestant that she knew who the Top 5 were," the Facebook post read.
"Then we agreed to wait and see if that was indeed the Top 5 called that night. After it was indeed the Top 5 I knew the show must be rigged," Monnin added. At that time, she also called the show "fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent and in many ways trashy."
Donald Trump denied the accusation and told "Today" that Monnin was suffering from a "loser's remorse." Trump filed a lawsuit on behalf of Universe Organization in New York after the beauty queen refused to apologize. In December 2012, an arbitrator awarded him $5 million in damages.
Monnin appealed the ruling and said that it would "financially devastate" her. The judge accepted that the amount was "devastating" but he said that Monnin did not consider consequences of her action. He also blamed her "poor choice of counsel" as her former lawyer "presented no evidence on her behalf over the course of several months."