Money and GavelA Manhattan judge has decided that former USA contestant, Sheena Monnin, must pay Donald Trump $5 million for “defaming his Miss USA pageant.

Last year, Monnin resigned as Miss Pennsylvania, and thereafter took to facebook to voice her thoughts regarding the pageant.  According to ABA Journal, she insisted that the “results of the Miss USA pageant were determined in advance” and that the show was rigged.  Now, she is paying for her accusations.

Donald Trump’s company “made an arbitration claim against her, seeking damages for alleged defamation and breach of contract.”  U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken agreed with the arbitration award and conceded that Donald Trump’s company “suffered a seven-figure loss from a potential sponsor” after Monnin publicly defamed the pageant.

What Is Defamation?

There are two main types of defamation: libel and slander. Libel is written defamation whereas slander is spoken defamation.  In order to prove defamation, a number of elements must be established: (1) the statement must be defamatory, meaning it adversely affects one’s reputation, (2) the statement must be concerning plaintiff, meaning people who hear it must know it is about plaintiff, (3) the defamatory statement must be made to a third person, and (4) it must cause damages.  Moreover, slander requires that proof of special damages (economic damages), whereas libel does not.

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