N.Y. judge rules against former Miss PA in dispute with Donald Trump
A federal judge in New York has upheld a $5 million ruling against a Cranberry woman who resigned as Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012 because she claimed the Donald Trump-owned Miss USA pageant was rigged.
An arbitrator ruled in December that Sheena Monnin, 27, must pay billionaire Trump $5 million for comments she made that the winners of the 2012 Miss USA Pageant were picked in advance. Monnin failed to place in the top 15.
U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken on Tuesday upheld the arbitrator's ruling, writing in a 30-page opinion that “The Court does not take lightly that Monnin is compelled to pay what is a devastating monetary award. ... Sympathy, or apparent inequity, may play no role in a court's legal analysis.”
A statement on Monnin's Facebook page appeared Thursday.
“This is not about me being a ‘sore loser' or wanting my ‘15 minutes of fame.' This is about the (Miss Universe company) admission under oath that they manipulate the judges' results to suit their own ends. This is not what they advertise to the public,” the posting stated.
Michael D. Cohen, executive vice president and special counsel to Trump, said the judge took the matter seriously.
“We applaud the judge's very articulate 30-page decision and will pursue all rights available to Mr. Trump under the law,” Cohen said. “I respectfully disagree with every statement made by Ms. Monnin in her most recent posting. One would think she would be very mindful of any future comments in light of this most recent decision.”
The judge relied on arbitrator Theodore Katz's finding that Monnin's earlier comments on Facebook and NBC's “Today” show cost the pageant $5 million from BP, a potential 2013 sponsor.
The judge ripped Monnin's former attorney, Richard Klineburger III of Philadelphia, writing that “Monnin put her trust in her attorney, believing that he would represent her interests to the best of his ability throughout the Arbitration process. Unfortunately, Klineburger chose to ignore the responsibilities owed to his client, along with the ethical duties governing his profession.”
The judge said Klineburger repeatedly asserted that Monnin was not required to participate in the arbitration process and did not represent her in the process.
Klineburger could not be reached for comment.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fire victim’s ex-boyfriend jumps from Tarentum Bridge
- Steelers rookie says Sam, his former roommate, has changed
- Rossi: Buying trust is a must for Pirates
- Steelers aim to create more turnovers this year with speedier defense
- Two cars strike horse near Fayette fair
- LaBar: Big week for future of WWE & TNA
- Dixon, Pitt men’s basketball team aren’t planning island vacation
- Pitt’s new chancellor Gallagher to continue broad role at school
- Pirates’ attempts to bolster roster at deadline a fruitless endeavor
- Pro runners go extra mile prior to Downtown Pittsburgh event
- QB Grady earns high marks for playoff-bound Power