In the first Presidential debate, one of Hillary Clinton's strongest moments was taking Donald Trump to task for his treatment of women.
She had a real-life example, a beauty queen who won Trump's Miss Universe contest in 1996, and was subsequently bullied and ridiculed by Trump when she, according to him, began to gain weight.
"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 in the debate.
Her name is Alicia Machado, and she is now campaigning for Clinton's election.
Trump sobre Alicia Machado en 1996: "Miss Piggy"
Esta mañana: "Aumentó mucho de peso... era un problema serio". pic.twitter.com/Sv92DhXTPJ
— Hillary en español (@Hillary_esp)
Machado has now spoken to The Guardian. She says she knew what Trump was really like and that she doesn't want him to become President of the United States.
Machado says winning Miss Universe in 1996 had "opened for me a big door", before it all turned sour.
"I was so happy then being Miss Universe, my problems start with him. When he started to use me, to expose me, to bully me," she says.
Trump openly, publicly mocked Machado after her win, saying she had gained large amounts of weight. Speaking to Howard Stern's radio show, he said she had become "an eating machine", and in 1997, he lined up a press pack to watch her work out at the gym.
This is what Alicia Machado looked like when Trump took to publicly & privately humiliating her over her weight. She had just turned 20. pic.twitter.com/jfmMM3jGHW
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance)
"She gained about 55 pounds in a period of nine months. She was like an eating machine," he told Stern.
The public bullying had a profound effect on Machado, who developed an eating disorder.
"I was sick for for almost five years. Anorexic and Bulimic. I had eating disorders after that episode," she says.
Now 39, she's an actor and an activist. Machado says she's spreading the word among the Latino community not to vote for Trump.
"We are hardworking people, we are nice people, we are lovely people, we are beautiful people," she says.
"If I can be a voice for my Latin community in this moment I will do it... He can't be a president.
"I know very well this person and I know what he can do."
In a video Machado made for the Clinton campaign, she says Trump was "very overwhelming" and she was scared of him. "He bears many grudges and harbors a deep racism."
She also says she was never paid for work she did as part of her time as Miss universe. "I felt really bad, like a lab rat," she says of the time he spent bullying her to lose weight.
Machado is an American citizen—and is planning to make the most of it by voting for Hillary Clinton come November.
instant happy in your
mailbox every day.