A row has broken out between US business mogul Donald Trump and lesbian comic Rosie O’Donnell.
O’Donnell expressed opposition to the way the tycoon has treated Miss USA amid reports of a drug problem.
The Trumpster had ordered Miss USA to pack her bags and vacate her Trump Plaza apartment, leaving her tiara on the nightstand on her way out, but Tara Conner will now keep her title after pageant overlord Donald Trump opted not to fire her.
“I’ve always been a believer in second chances,” Trump, who owns the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants with NBC, said at a press conference at his Trump Towers headquarters with Conner at his side.
In this case, a second chance involves rehab, where E! Online reports Conner will seek treatment for an unspecified problem and “her duties will be limited as she receives the help she needs during this personal time.”
O’Donnell said on her show, The View, that he had been too forgiving. She also described him as a hypocrite.
The real estate mogul refused to elaborate on any of the rumours that led to reports of Conner’s dethroning, saying only that he changed his mind last minute because Conner is a “good person” who deserves a break.
Conner, who turned 21 on Monday, has been a regular fixture in the pages of The New York Daily News, New York Post and several gossip sites in recent weeks, prompting several columnists to dub her the new Lindsay Lohan.
“You’ll never know how much I appreciate Mr Trump for saving me on this one,” Conner said at the conference. “It truly takes someone with a wonderful heart, a heart of gold and a blessed soul. He’s a very very compassionate person and obviously I’ve learned that today and I’m so happy I’ll be given this opportunity because I know that when I do my job I’m very passionate about it.
“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to better myself. Not only given a chance to better myself, but to better me as a Miss USA. I plan on walking out of this the best Miss USA you’ve ever seen.”
Mr Trump retaliated to O’Donnell’s claims. He told rival show The Insider>: “Rosie O’Donnell is disgusting, I mean both inside and out.
“Take a look at her, she’s a slob. She talks like a truck driver.”
He also threatened to sue her.
Late last week, reports surfaced that Conner would be replaced by 27-year-old runner-up, Miss California Tamiko Nash. The New York Daily News cited anonymous sources, reporting that that blonde bombshell has failed drug tests and been ordered out of her cush pad.
Trump denied the allegations, saying Conner was back in her apartment.
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