Asharq Al-awsat English https://aawsat.com/english Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper http://feedly.com/icon.svg

Trump's Team Intimidated Miss France in 2001 Beauty Pageant

Trump's Team Intimidated Miss France in 2001 Beauty Pageant

Thursday, 19 November, 2020 - 07:00
Donald Trump stands on the 14th fairway during a pro-am round of the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. Patrick Semansky/AP

It's an incident that took place around 20 years ago, but it was recently unveiled in a local French TV program presented by Cyril Hanouna.


Former Miss France Nathalie Marquay, a host in the program, revealed that her friend Miss France 2001 Élodie Gossuin fell victim to intimidation during her participation in a pageant run by the US President Donald Trump for over 20 years. Marquay reported the incident in details, saying in 2001, her friend traveled to Puerto Rico to represent France in the beauty contest, but Trump's assistants told her she cannot participate because she is not a woman, but a transgender man because she has large hands. First, the young contestant thought it was a joke, or a prank, but she was surprised to find that the pageant's organizers were serious. They locked her up in her room, and banned her from leaving it. They also seized her cellphone and then asked her to consult a gynecologist to confirm she is a woman.


At the time, anxious Gossuin called Genevieve de Fontenay, head of the official beauty pageants committee in France. De Fontenay rushed to Puerto Rico accompanied by a team from Canal 2 on a private jet provided by the channel. Once she arrived, she met the American team that organized the pageant, and told them she has overseen the French beauty contests for decades and has carefully chosen all the candidates, and that no one has ever dared to question the femininity of a French woman.


The organizers retracted their decision, Élodie Gossuin partook in the contest and was selected among the top ten finalists, but she didn't win the crown. In the closing ceremony, Trump approached her, and when she thought he was going to apologize to her for what his team made her experience, he congratulated her because her problem increased the media focus on the pageant. In that same year, Élodie partook in Miss Europe and won. Then, she got married and had four children.


Editor Picks

Multimedia