Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado’s past is starting to be dissected after she became a familiar name overnight.
During the presidential debate, Hillary Clinton brought up Machado’s name to paint a negative image of Donald Trump, who had called her “Miss Piggy” and “Eating Machine” during her reign as Miss Universe 1996.
Back in 1997, Trump defended Machado in a backhanded way at an event designed to allow the press to watch her work out. He told "Extra" at the time, "I think it would have been a terrible thing to terminate Alicia from the pageant. She was, when she won last year, one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen, and everybody in the audience were saying literally, ‘ ands-down winner.' She's gained a tremendous amount of weight and she has, I guess, an eating disorder of some kind.”
"But I think if I did a termination, and if CBS and I got together and did a termination, I think it would have sent out a very bad signal for a problem that a lot of people have, which is weight," he added. Watch!
As for her fitness at the time, Trump predicted, "Well, I think she's going to put herself back into shape and by the time of the Miss Universe pageant, which will be in May, I think you'll see somebody like you did when she originally won it. Very beautiful. It's a real problem, but hopefully she's going to be able to solve her problem and I think she will, and I think it'll be a great success on that evening in May and you'll have to watch to see.”
Machado has said having to work out in front of the media took a toll on her self-esteem.
Though Machado has been interviewed about her difficult time working with Donald in the late '90s, her controversial past is coming back to haunt her, including a sex romp on a reality show and her alleged involvement in an attempted murder.
In 2005, while still engaged to Philadelphia Phillies baseball player Bobby Abreu, she was caught having sex on camera with TV host Fernando Acaso on the Spanish reality show “La Granja,” which is similar to “Big Brother.” Snopes.com, which debunks rumors, describes the video as "grainy, night-vision footage of two people in bed that shows no nudity.”
During the episode, Machado was heard complimenting Acaso’s manhood. At the time, the show's host read the following testimonial by Machado: "Really, that guy is cute, he loves me, he understands me, he accepts me, he protects me, he supports me, he respects me. He treats me like a goddess, he f**ks me like a b*tch!"
After the episode aired, Abreu called off the engagement.
Of her appearance on “La Granja," Machado told Univision, "It was a very strong experience, very difficult in all senses, and I feel very happy with the events in Spain. I had people's support once more and I gained respect for what I am as a person and that was the purpose. When you do a reality show, it's just that — a show of reality.”
Along with Abreu and Acaso, Machado has also been linked to drug kingpin Gerardo Álvarez-Vázquez, who — according to Univision — was rumored to be the father of her daughter Dinorah. She has denied the reports, telling People magazine, “[I] did not have any relationship... with Mr. Jose Gerardo Álvarez-Vázquez, known by the nickname of 'the Indian’.” She added that Dinorah’s father was "a very respectable businessman."
Back in 1998, Machado was accused of threatening a judge who indicted her then-boyfriend Juan Rodriguez Reggeti on attempted murder charges.
On Tuesday, Anderson Cooper asked Machado about the allegations, saying, "The judge in the case also said you had threatened to kill him after he indicted your boyfriend for the attempted murder. I just want to give you a chance to address these reports.” She responded, “He can say whatever he wants to say. I don’t care. You know, I have my past. Of course. Everybody has. Everybody has a past. And I'm not a saint girl. But that is not the point now.” Watch!
Machado shifted the conversation to Trump, commenting, "[Trump] was really rude with me, he tried to destroy my self-esteem. And now I'm a voice in the Latin community. I'm in a great moment in my life and I have a very clear life. And I can show my taxes."