Alicia Machado won the Miss Universe in 1996, but apparently her experience with the man who bought the contest that year—Donald Trump—was haunting enough that 20 years later, she finally registered to vote just so she could oppose him.
Speaking on Estrella TV's Rica La Noche, Machado said for 19 years she's struggled to convince people that the man who called her "Miss Piggy" for her weight and "Miss Housekeeping" for her Venezuelan heritage was "...a racist, a horrible person. I worked with this man, for this man, for a year out of my life that I don't wish upon my worst enemy."
Machado was also asked whether Trump had ever made sexual advances. "I want to vomit. Never in my life, the man would've liked to." She did say he made attempts on "me and everyone else, That's why he bought Miss Universe, it was his private harem."
Most disturbingly, Machado recounted how she had gained some weight after her 1996 victory and approached "the very sweet woman" running the day-to-day operations of Miss Universe, and asked for help fixing her diet and getting on an exercise regimen. The organization flew her to New York to meet a dietician.
Then Donald Trump got involved. "The next day, they took me to the gym, and I’m exposed to 90 media outlets." Unexpectedly for Machado, Trump was in the room, in charge. He had staged an event for her to exercise and sweat off her weight in front of the media. “I was about to cry in that moment with all the cameras there,” recounts Machado, telling her boss "I don’t want to do this, Mr. Trump."
"I don’t care," responded Trump. Asked in 2016 whether he had made Machado lose weight, Trump casually replied, "To that, I will plead guilty."
Machado said that after the humiliating experience, broadcast and reprinted for the whole country, she developed anorexia and bulimia, and has been in therapy ever since. "I've been saying the same thing for 19 years," she said. "I am so happy that after so long, people believe me."