Alicia Machado was born in Venezuela, crowned Miss Universe in 1996, and became a citizen this year so that she can vote for Hillary Clinton for president.
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, owned the pageant while Machado was Miss Universe. She said he called her “Miss Housekeeping” and “Miss Piggy” after she gained weight.
Machado told the Washington Post that she had starved herself before the pageant, and reached a healthy weight after she won.
Trump’s public feud with Machado – and other women – came up at the first presidential debate Monday night when moderator Lester Holt asked the candidate about something he said about Clinton:
HOLT: “Mr. Trump, this year Secretary Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major party. Earlier this month, you said she doesn’t have, quote, ‘a presidential look.’ She’s standing here right now. What did you mean by that?”
TRUMP: “She doesn’t have the look. She doesn’t have the stamina. I said she doesn’t have the stamina. And I don’t believe she does have the stamina. To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina.”
HOLT: “The quote was, ‘I just don’t think she has the presidential look.'”
Trump and Clinton went back and forth, then she came back at him hard, to the cheers of the crowd that was told to be silent during the debate:
“One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy.’ Then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name,” Clinton said as Trump interrupted her. “Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a US citizen, and you can bet she’s going to vote this November.”
Machado tweeted her support for Clinton:
— ALICIA MACHADO (@machadooficial) September 27, 2016
The Clinton campaign also tweeted about Machado in Spanish, saying, “The woman that Trump called ‘Miss Piggy’ has a name: Alicia Machado.”
— Hillary en español (@Hillary_esp) September 27, 2016
Since winning Miss Universe, Machado has become a successful actress, singer, model, and businesswoman. She was nominated for a Grammy, has launched her own fashion line, and appeared on over 100 magazine covers, according to her website.
Machado became a US citizen in August, and has been campaigning for Clinton.
“Thank you Mrs. Clinton for your respect for women,” Machado tweeted in Spanish after the debate Monday night. “I am with you!”