Former Miss Universe winner Jennifer Hawkins has ignored calls for her to publicly distance herself from sexist statements which were made by her friend Donald Trump, shortly after she commenced her year-long reign as the 2004 Miss Universe.
The comments, recorded in 2005, capture Trump boasting of how he exploits his power and fame to sexually encroach upon women:
“I just start kissing them, I don’t even wait. When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything,” he can be heard saying.
At the time of these remarks, Ms Hawkins was closely affiliated with Trump and moved within his orbit of influence, having been crowned Miss Universe some months earlier. (The other man who can be heard in the video – Billy Bush – is also known to Hawkins, as he had been one of the two presenters who hosted the 2004 Miss Universe competition where Hawkins took home the top gong).
While other Miss Universe winners have used their popularity and platform to speak out against Trump’s bid for presidency, Hawkins has publicly described him as “charming”, “passionate” and an “inspiration”.
As late as August this year, Ms Hawkins stated the Presidential hopeful was an “amazing, brilliant businessman” and an “inspiration”.
When asked, “Do you think if anyone could do this, it’s Donald Trump?” she replied, “Yes”.
To add insult to injury, these comments were made shortly after another former Miss Universe winner, Alicia Machado, revealed that Trump had attacked her Latina heritage and called her ‘Miss Housekeeping’ and ‘Miss Piggy’ after she gained weight.