Univision is firing back at Donald Trump after the real estate mogul/presidential candidate filed suit against the media company, saying that Trump’s anti-immigrant remarks are too “toxic” for his former business partners, and that Trump’s claim of defamation falls flat.
The media company also denies having anything to do with NBC likewise severing ties with Trump.
Trump filed his $500 million lawsuit against Univision in June, after the network dropped the Miss USA Pageant — a decision that came after Trump characterized immigrants from Mexico as “rapists,” among other negative assertions.
In his suit, Trump claimed that Univision’s decision to cut ties with the Miss Universe Organization was “a thinly veiled attempt by Univision, a privately held company principally owned by longtime Clinton Foundation donor and current Hillary Clinton fundraiser, Haim Saban, to suppress Mr. Trump’s freedom of speech under the First Amendment as he begins his campaign for the nation’s presidency.” The suit also claims that Univision had “no right to terminate its relationship” with the organization.
In court papers filed Friday, Univision scoffed at the notion that it had defamed Trump as “beyond frivolous.”
According to the court papers, Trump based his claim on photos re-posted online by Univision executive Alberto Ciurana, depicting Trump and Charleston, South Carolina, church shooter Dylann Roof side-by-side.
“In a Hail Mary attempt to keep this count alive, Trump offers up the bizarre interpretation that the post either accused Trump of himself committing ‘similar heinous acts’ of racially motivated violence, or of ‘incit[ing] others to commit similar heinous acts,” the papers read. Univision denies that and, in any case, contends that Ciurana’s opinion on Trump is entitled to protection under New York law and the U.S. constitution.
Univision also dismisses the notion that Univision had anything to do with NBC’s decision to split with Trump, saying, “There is an obvious,