The Guardian on Wednesday published its video interview with Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe cited by Hillary Clinton during Monday’s presidential debate. The Democratic presidential nominee said Republican candidate Donald Trump, who had purchased the pageant in 1996, called Machado “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeper” because she was Latina.
“I was so happy to be Miss Universe,” Machado recalled to The Guardian. “My problems start with [Trump]. When he started to use me, to expose me, to bully me.”
Machado, as the video explained, gained weight after she won the 1996 Miss Universe pageant. Trump then criticized her weight gain in a 1997 interview with Inside Edition, calling her “somebody who likes to eat.” She subsequently developed an eating disorder that persisted “for much of her 20s,” according to Politico.
“I was sick for almost five years . . . anorexic and bulimic. I had eating disorders after that episode,” Machado said, referring to a media showcase where Trump forced her to work out at a New York gym in front of a pool of reporters to prove that she intended to “get her weight down to about 130 pounds,” according to a 1997 CNN report.
In a call-in interview with “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning, Trump reiterated claims that Machado’s “massive” weight gain “was a real problem.” The Republican presidential nominee said his criticisms stemmed from her being “the absolute worst.”
Machado has since found success as a businesswoman and actress in her native Venezuela and recently became a United States citizen. She says she plans to vote for Trump’s Democratic opponent in November.
“All those insults from Trump for the Latinos — we are a hardworking people,” she continued. “And I’m really upset with [Trump’s insults]. If I can be a voice for my Latin community in this moment, I will do it.”
“[Trump] can’t be president of the United States,” she warned. “It’s not revenge from me. It’s just that I know very well this person. I know what he can do. This is more than a reality show.”
Watch the full interview on The Guardian.