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Donald Trump, Univision Settle $500 Million Miss Universe Lawsuit

Donald Trump and Univision have settled their legal fight over Univision’s decision to drop the Miss USA and Miss Universe telecasts last year after Trump made disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed. Univision had just signed a five-year deal with the Miss Universe Organization for U.S. Spanish-language TV rights to the beauty pageants when Trump, now the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, stirred outrage by asserting that many undocumented Mexican immigrants were “rapists.”

At the time the Miss Universe franchise was jointly owned by Trump Organization and NBCUniversal. The furor over Trump’s remarks, made in June at the formal announcement of his candidacy, forced NBC to join Univision in hastily dropping the July 12 Miss USA telecast in protest. The Miss USA pageant wound up airing on the independent cabler ReelzChannel, drawing a fraction of the audience that the telecast typically garnered on NBC.

Shortly afterward, Trump bought out NBCU’s share of Miss Universe and then quickly flipped it to WME/IMG.

Trump filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision, claiming that political interference from one of Univision’s owners, prominent Democratic fundraiser Haim Saban, drove the company’s decision to back out of the contract. According to the court filing, Univision’s five-year rights deal was valued at $13.5 million.

The war of words between Trump and Univision escalated last summer to the point where Univision banned employees from engaging in work-related business at any Trump-owned facilities.Univision’s Miami headquarters are next door to Trump’s National Doral luxury hotel.

News of the settlement included brief statements from Trump and Univision CEO Randy Falco.

“I have known Univision’s president and CEO, Randy Falco, for more than 20 years, and I’m glad we are able to put these differences behind us,” Trump said.

Falco said: “I have known Donald Trump for many years in both a personal and professional capacity, and we are pleased to settle this matter and move forward.”

The first Miss Universe telecast produced under its new ownership regime made headlines in December when host Steve Harvey accidentally crowned the wrong winner and had to reverse himself minutes later.

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