Lawyer jabs Trump below belt over sex-change row

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 13 2012 11:48 AM | Updated as of Apr 13 2012 07:50 PM

LOS ANGELES, California - The lawyer for a model who triggered a beauty pageant sex-change row took a jab at real estate tycoon Donald Trump on Thursday, poking fun at the size of the Miss Universe co-owner's... ego.

Gloria Allred, who represented transgender contestant Jenna Talackova after she was initially banned from the Miss Canada pageant, accused Trump of not dealing properly with the issue.

"Mr. Trump has attempted to create a smokescreen by engaging in personal attacks as a diversionary tactic to shield his organization from further criticism," the celebrity lawyer said in an open letter.

After a furor, Trump said Talackova can take part in the Canadian contest, although he later insisted the decision was not due to Allred's championing of the model, with whom she held a Beverly Hills press conference.

But Allred said Trump had not yet committed himself in writing to eliminate a rule requiring contestants to be "naturally born" female, not only in Canada but in other Miss Universe pageants around the world.

Referring to a tongue-in-cheek exchange about Trump's manhood, Allred wrote: "Last week, in response to your offer to show me your penis, I said in jest that I would not be able to view something so small without a magnifying glass.

"I apologize if that offended you. I'll make you a deal. If you change your discriminatory rule, I promise to tell everyone that your penis is enormous, and that the only thing bigger is your ego," she said.

Talackova, a statuesque, blonde transgender model from Canada, says she underwent surgery at 19 to become a woman because she was born in "the wrong body."

Allred has welcomed the fact that she can take part in the Miss Canada contest, but said Trump had yet to clarify his position on the wider question, writing: "Mr. Trump, I suggest that you focus on the issue."

"Will you eliminate the discriminatory rule and do so in a way that makes it crystal clear that every woman is eligible to compete in all countries around the world where the Miss Universe pageant exists?"

There was no immediate response from Trump.

© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse