CARACAS – Venezuela’s Alicia Machado, winner of the Miss Universe Competition in 1996, said that she herself was a victim of now-US President Donald Trump, whom she called a hater and who, she said, has caused immense damage in his country.
After nine years without setting foot in the Caribbean country, the former beauty queen told the Venezuelan press in Caracas about her controversial relationship with the Republican magnate who owned the Miss Universe pageant when she took the title.
“He (Trump) is a hater, without a doubt,” the 42-year-old beauty told EFE, adding that she fears Trump’s possible reelection, because, she said, the future of the US, where she is also a citizen, would be “difficult for both immigrants and locals.”
“Things look very complicated in politics and American society because of the damage done during this man’s time in office. Not only we Latinos are suffering as immigrants, but the American people as a whole are suffering,” she said.
The businesswoman – who has been a model, actress, singer, television host and an activist for a number of causes – continues to denounce the fact that she was a victim of Trump, who called her “Miss Piggy” and forced her to do exercises in public for having gained, he said, “a massive amount of weight” during her reign.
“Yes, yes I was (a victim). Now I’m not. I was because at the time I was 18 years old and couldn’t defend myself – that’s no longer true. It’s something I overcame and turned me into an activist,” she said.
That incident was used as a talking point during the 2016 presidential campaign by Democrat Hillary Clinton, who in recalling it accused her opponent of misogyny for supposedly attacking the Venezuelan with racist and sexist slurs.
About her relations with the former secretary of state, Machado said she had “some talks afterwards” with her, about which she preferred to give no details, and repeated her support for the Democratic Party which, she said, has given her many opportunities over the past two years.
Though Trump has called her the “worst” Miss Universe in history, she, on the other hand, says she is the “most appreciated” and said she has nothing more to talk about with Trump.
The former beauty queen, who considers herself an empirical feminist, also defends beauty pageants because “they continue to be a wonderful platform, not just to show you’re beautiful but also to show your beauty is within you and that you’re capable as a professional and as a woman to accomplish many things.”
Asked about the participation of Spain’s Angela Ponce in this year’s Miss Universe, she thought the fact that she is a transsexual woman is “a great achievement in social acceptance.”