Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who Hillary Clinton named late in Monday night’s debate, spoke out against Donald Trump Tuesday, saying to reporters during a press call that the Republican presidential candidate is a “sexist misogynist” who treated her “like a piece of garbage.”
The comments came after Trump doubled down on the former beauty queen during an interview with Fox News Tuesday morning, dubbing Machado "the worst we ever had - the worst, the absolute worst."
The Venezuelan-born actress and beauty queen, now 39, won the Miss Universe crown in Las Vegas in 1996, the year that Donald Trump bought the enterprise. But her relationship with the magnate soon soured.
In an interview in May, Machado told Univision anchor Jorge Ramos the story.
Months after the May 1996 coronation, Machado, then 19, gained weight. As a result, Trump announced he would take her to a gym in New York City to work with a personal trainer.
But when she arrived there, she found dozens of reporters waiting to watch her work out, in an event planned by Trump.
“When I arrived at the gym, I find a [media] circus,” Machado told Ramos (in Spanish). “And I tell [Trump] I don’t want to do it, that I was embarrassed. And he said, ‘I don't care, I pay you for this. So smile.’”
Machado said she felt humiliated, but didn't want to attract Trump's wrath. "After that ... I tried to forget about that abuse and about that moment with him," she said.
Trump told the cameras that day about Machado: “This is someone who likes to eat.”
Machado has also accused Trump of refusing to pay her for commercials and promotional work she did after the pageant.
Machado told Ramos that the gym incident 20 years ago was a moment that continues to haunt her. Soon after, she developed a number of eating disorders, she said.
Now, Machado -- a newly minted U.S. citizen -- has become an outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton.
In the final minutes of Monday’s presidential debate, Clinton tore into Trump for insulting women. She then brought up Machado: “One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest ... he called this woman Miss Piggy. Then he called her Miss Housekeeping because she was Latina. Donald she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado and she has become a U.S. citizen and you can bet she's going to vote this November.”
Trump denied the claim about Machado at the time, but didn’t have a strong response to Clinton’s claims of his sexism.
But on Tuesday, he stood by his treatment of Machado and his former criticism of her weight.
“She was the winner and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem,” Trump told Fox.
Machado said she was surprised and moved to hear her name mentioned during the debate.
“I’m not a beauty queen anymore,” she said. “Now I’m a worker, a mother, I have my family, a business. I was always scared of him. And I still am scared. This election is like a bad dream.”