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The public life of Venezuelan beauty queen Alicia Machado, now a central figure to the Clinton campaign

Over the years, the former beauty queen sang, posed nude, won beauty contests and even cheated on her boyfriend on camera during a reality show. Today she is campaigning against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Lea esta nota en español

Por: Univision
Publicado: 28 Sep | 02:13 PM EDT
Yoseph Alicia Machado was born in Maracay, Venezuela, some 60 miles from...
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Yoseph Alicia Machado was born in Maracay, Venezuela, some 60 miles from Caracas, in 1976. In 1995, Osmel Sousa, the famous beauty pageant guru, gave Machado the green light to participate in the Miss Venezuela competition. The contest is an opportunity for instant fame and draws women from all social strata. It's been the most watched annual television event for decades and a fundamental part of Venezuela's culture. It has even survived through recent social and economic upheaval. Machado, then a smiling and friendly young woman, won the 1995 competition and the opportunity to compete in the 1996 Miss Universe pageant, then owned by Donald Trump. Foto: Miss Venezuela/Pinterest | Univision | Univision
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A thin and charismatic Alicia Machado traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada, to...
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A thin and charismatic Alicia Machado traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada, to participate in Miss Universe. An audience favorite, she became the fourth Venezuelan in the pageant's history to win the crown. That gavae her a year to travel the world, representing the organization and inking modeling contracts. Foto: Getty Images | Univision | Univision
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In the lead up to the Miss Universe pageant, Osmel Sousa imposed a stric...
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In the lead up to the Miss Universe pageant, Osmel Sousa imposed a strict diet and exercise regimen on Machado. It had paid off, but was unsustainable in the long run. After the high of the Las Vegas competition wore off, Machado gained 40 pounds, which was inconceivable for a Miss Universe winner. Soon, Machado's weight became a public issue. Foto: Getty Images | Univision | Univision
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Machado asked the Miss Universe enterprise for help to lose weight. Trum...
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Machado asked the Miss Universe enterprise for help to lose weight. Trump himself 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 a surprise event planned by Trump. "The experience affected my life," she told Jorge Ramos during an interview. "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.'" Foto: Peter Morgan/Reuters | Univision | Univision
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Twenty years later, Machado has begun speaking openly about the experien...
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Twenty years later, Machado has begun speaking openly about the experience she had with Donald Trump. She has also publicly denounced Miss Venezuela and the Venezuelan television channel Venevisión for failing to defend her. "For my health! I wish @RealOsmelSousa and @noticierovv would have defended me against that Nazi rat! Miss Universe 96, just 18 years old!" she wrote last year on Twitter. Foto: Jon Levy/Getty Images | Univision | Univision
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From the weight loss scandal to now, Alicia Machado has been a media spe...
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From the weight loss scandal to now, Alicia Machado has been a media spectacle. In 1998, before moving to the United States, she was accused in Venezuela of aiding in an attempted murder alongside her then boyfriend Juan Rafael Rodríguez Reggeti. The accusations did not result in conviction. Foto: Carolina Jiménez/Reuters | Univision | Univision
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With her Miss Universe title behind her, and now outside of Venezuela, M...
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With her Miss Universe title behind her, and now outside of Venezuela, Machado continued to work in entertainment, from telenovelas in Mexico to a music album in 2004. She appeared in a Spanish reality show called "La Granja de los famosos" ("The Farm"), where an on-screen affair led to her separation from Venezuelan baseball player Bob Abreu in 2005. The following year, she published nude photos in Playboy Mexico. Here, she's seen at the issue's launch in Mexico City in 2006. Foto: Joseph L. Hughes/Getty Images | Univision | Univision
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The US and Venezuelan versions of Playboy published photos from a second...
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The U.S. and Venezuelan versions of Playboy published photos from a second nude session in 2010. Machado continued working as an actress and in reality shows, such as "Cantando por un sueño" ("Singing for a Dream"), "Nuestra Belleza Latina" ("Our Latina Beauty"), along with her former mentor Osmel Sousa, and Univision's "Mira Quien Baila" ("Look Who's Dancing"). In 2008 she gave birth to her daughter Dinorah in Miami and in 2013 she told the press she had been physically abused by a former boyfriend, Jose Manuel Figueroa. Foto: Alicia Machado/Facebook | Univision | Univision
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In May 2016 Alicia Machado told Univision anchor Jorge Ramos about the 1...
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In May 2016 Alicia Machado told Univision anchor Jorge Ramos about the 1996 incident with Donald Trump and that she was about to become a U.S. citizen. She was granted citizenship in August. Foto: Alicia Machado/Facebook | Univision | Univision
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In August 2016 she became a political activist, not only against Donald...
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In August 2016 she became a political activist, not only against Donald Trump, but in favor of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In this photo taken Aug. 20, Alicia Machado campaigns in the streets of Miami. Foto: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images | Univision | Univision
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Last week, Alicia Machado published this photo with Bill Clinton on Inst...
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Last week, Alicia Machado published this photo with Bill Clinton on Instagram, accompanied by the following text: “Thanks for your time! Was my honor to meet our former President @billclinton.usa we are with @hillaryclinton 🇺🇸🇻🇪🙏🏻🌹 #democrats2016" Foto: Alicia Machado/Facebook | Univision | Univision