June 8, 2012
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Former Miss New Jersey Attorney and Scarinci Hollenbeck Partner Anthony Caruso weighs in on the controversy.

This is an image of a tiara used for the post DONALD TRUMP SUES FORMER MISS PENNSYLVANIA FOR DEFAMATION on the Scarinci Hollenbeck website Lyndhurst, NJ, June 8, 2012 – Donald Trump has followed through on his threat to sue former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin for defamation following her comments that the Miss USA pageant was rigged.

Trump owns the Miss Universe Organization, which put on the Miss USA Pageant held on June 3. Miss Rhode Island, Olivia Culpo, was crowned the winner.

Following the competition, Monnin, who did not finish among the top 15 contestants, resigned. In online comments, she claimed that the finalists were predetermined and the contest rigged. She stated that another contestant had seen a paper backstage, listing the top five finishers before the pageant had even begun.

Trump called her statements baseless and gave Monnin 24 hours to apologize and withdraw her comments in writing. Monnin refused, and Trump followed through with the defamation lawsuit.

To gain legal insight on the case, E! News interviewed Anthony R. Caruso the Chair of Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Sports and Entertainment Group. He previously defended former Miss New Jersey Amy Polumbo when she was blackmailed over online photographs in 2007. Caruso retains hope that the situation can be resolved without involving the courts.

“In my opinion this case is based more on emotion than legal positioning. I would certainly hope that the two parties would take a step back and reconcile their differences,” Caruso says.

The contestant who Monnin says saw the list has stated that she did see the list but did not know what it was for. She also said her comment about those contestants being the finalists was a joke. Pageant officials have said Monnin told them she was upset about the organization’s choice to allow transgender Miss Canada contestant Jenna Talackova to participate.

Further details are available in a post on Scarinci Hollenbeck’s website. For more information, please tune in to E! News tonight at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. (ET) for the full interview.


About Scarinci Hollenbeck
Scarinci Hollenbeck (@S_H_Law, @NJNYMediaLaw) is a New Jersey/New York Metropolitan Area law firm that serves a diverse group of clients in numerous industries. The full service, general practice firm retains a highly trained legal team with expertise in several areas, including Corporate Transactions and Business Law, Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights, Environmental and Land Use Law, Litigation, Public Law, Commercial Real Estate, Sports and Entertainment Law, and Tax, Trust and Estate Law. Top-tier personnel, innovative technology, and superior client service add to Scarinci Hollenbeck’s reputation as one of the most highly ranked law firms in the New Jersey/New York Metropolitan Area.