Donald Trump Files Amended Lawsuit Against Univision

Donald Trump filed an amended lawsuit against Univision on Friday, continuing his claim that the media conglomerate made a “purposeful effort to coerce, collude and/or conspire” with NBC executives to drop the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.

Univision and NBC Universal dropped the Miss Universe Pageant after Trump’s June 16 presidential campaign announcement. They cited comments that Trump made about Mexican immigrants.

Trump then sued Univision for breach of contract and defamation, among other claims. In September Trump bought NBC’s half of the Miss Universe Organization, and later sold assets to a group affiliated with William Morris Endeavor. Trump, however, retained the legal claim against Univision.

In the new complaint filed in U.S. District Court in New York, Trump claims that despite being obligated to broadcast the Miss Universe Pageant, at a minimum, “NBC capitulated to Univision’s threatened economic coercion and/or other improper and illegal tactics and means to terminate its relationship” with the Trump Organization.

The lawsuit claims that Univision’s intention in “causing” NBC was to ensure that the Miss Universe Organization would be prevented from having an English-language broadcaster. That was a condition of its agreement with Univision.

Trump’s claim contends that Univision had “the mistaken belief that the termination of the NBC agreement would reduce or extinguish Univision’s contractual obligations to pay license fees and other damages” to the Miss Universe Organization.

Univision had a license to air Miss Universe and Miss USA for a total $13.5 million fee from 2015 to 2019, according to Trump’s lawsuit.

The lawsuit also contends that Univision severed its ties even though Trump’s “calls for immigration reform, particularly with respect to the U.S.-Mexican border, were nothing new.”

Trump’s complaint cites a 2011 interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News in which he said that immigrants were “coming over, and they’re climbing over a fence, and there’s nobody within 10 miles — and they’re selling drugs all over the place, they’re killing people all over the place — and we’re not doing anything about it.”

But Trump’s complaint also notes that he cautioned that it was difficult to generalize and that “you’re going to have to look at all the individual people, see how they’ve done, see how productive they’ve been, see what their references are — and then make a decision.”

“Univision was aware of Mr. Trump’s stance on illegal immigration and the possibility that he might declare himself a candidate for the presidency well before January 2015 when it entered into the agreement for the pageants,” Trump’s complaint states.

The complaint cites the fact that Univision CEO Randy Falco previously worked at NBC for 30 years and was “well aware” of the Peacock’s contract with the Miss Universe Organization and Trump.

A spokesowman for Univision said they had no comment. The company has previously said that the lawsuit was “both factually false and legally ridiculous.” They have until Dec. 4 to file a response.

Trump’s comments about immigrants are the source of protest by Latino groups, who plan to rally outside NBC in New York on Saturday as Trump hosts “Saturday Night Live.”

News of the amended complaint was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

More Biz

  • BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior

    BMI Promotes David Levin to Senior VP of Digital Licensing

    BMI today announced that David Levin has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Licensing, effective immediately. In his newly expanded role, Levin is responsible for all of BMI’s domestic licensing and revenue generation, encompassing radio, television, digital media, cable, satellite and general licensing.  Levin, who will oversee teams in New York and Nashville, reports [...]

  • Warner Music Group Logo

    Warner Music Acquires Musical Theater Indie First Night Records

    Warner Music Group has acquired First Night Record, an independent record label for West End and Broadway musical theatre cast recordings. The company will be overseen by WMG’s Arts Music Division, led by President Kevin Gore. First Night co-founder John Craig will join the Arts Music team under a multi-year consulting agreement to identify and record musical theatre productions in [...]

  • Woodstock 50 to Hold Open House

    Woodstock 50 to Hold Open House for Local Residents Before Permit Review Tuesday

    If nothing else, the producers of Woodstock 50 are persistent. After two permit applications to hold the troubled festival at the Vernon Downs racetrack in Upstate New York were rejected by the town of Vernon codes office, the producers and venue owner Jeffrey Gural today invited the local community “to embrace the Festival’s spirit of [...]

  • ILM Star Wars The Force Awakens

    ILM to Open Latest Effects Facility in Sydney, Australia

    Sydney, Australia, is to be home to Industrial Light & Magic’s fifth production hub. The Disney-owned special effects company currently has facilities in San Francisco, Vancouver, London and Singapore. The decision to open the Sydney outpost was announced Monday local time by executive creative director and head of ILM Rob Bredow, ILM executive Luke Hetherington, [...]

  • Jesters: The Game Changers

    Spackman Buys Korean Film Producer Simplex

    Spackman Entertainment is to buy Simplex Films, the Korean early-stage production company behind the upcoming period comedy movie “Jesters: The Game Changers.” Spackman, an investment group with a clutch of Korean film and production businesses, has agreed a $2.43 million (S$3.3 million) all-share purchase price for Simplex. It says the acquisition will expand its film [...]

  • Chloe Dan 20th Century Fox TV

    20th Century Fox TV Drama Head Chloe Dan to Step Down

    Chloe Dan, the senior vice president of drama development for 20th Century Fox Television, is leaving her position at the studio, Variety has confirmed. Dan assumed her current role with 20th TV in 2017 and first joined the studio in 2014. Among the shows she worked on during her time at the studio are “This Is [...]

  • inspire-kanica-suy

    Kanica Suy Joins Inspire Entertainment

    Kanica Suy has joined Inspire Entertainment as a talent manager. Suy joins the company with a select group of clients from her Cultivate Entertainment banner that includes Dayo Okeniyi, Bella Dayne, Claudia Doumit and Mika Abdalla. At Inspire Entertainment, Suy will work closely as a team member with managers Jason Spire, and Danny Mancini, on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content