WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — As Miss Arizona, Tasha Dixon, then 18, competed in the Miss USA pageant, which was owned by Donald Trump for 19 years, along with the Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA pageants.
“Our first introduction to him was when we were at the dress rehearsal and half naked changing into our bikinis,” Dixon recalled. “He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Other girls were naked.”
She said she and her fellow contestants were put in an awkward position when “the owner come waltzing in when we were naked or half naked in a very physically vulnerable position and then to have the pressure of the people that worked for him telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him, get his attention.”
Dixon’s account is seemingly supported by the Republican presidential nominee himself in a 2005 broadcast on the “The Howard Stern Show.” That audio recording was re-released last weekend.
Here is a sample of what was said on the show on April 11, 2005:
Trump: “I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else. And you know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore, I’m inspecting it. You know I’m inspecting it. I want to make sure everything is good.”
Stern: “You’re like a doctor.”
Trump: “Is everyone OK? You know they’re standing there with no clothes. Is everybody OK? And you see these incredible looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”
Dixon has strong opinions about what she thought was Trump’s motivations.
“I’m telling you Donald Trump owned the pageant for the reasons to utilize his power to get around beautiful women,” she added. “Who do you complain to? He owns the pageant. There’s no one to complain to. Everyone there works for him.”
The West Hollywood resident competed in 2001. The theme for that year was empowering women.
After hearing Friday’s release of an audio recording of Trump making lewd comments about women, Dixon decided to speak out. But she said her decision was not politically motivated. “I’m Miss Arizona so I veer more on the conservative side. But I just like to choose what’s right.”
Dixon said she has not listened to Trump’s interview with Stern.
CBS2’s Serene Branson reached out to several other 2001 contestants. But those who responded declined to be interviewed.
But former Miss California Carrie Prejean Boller did release a statement:
“To paint Mr. Trump as someone who would purposely walk into a women’s dressing room and ask women to come impress him is the most disgusting accusation so far. Mr. Trump has empowered me as a woman, has given me career opportunities and defended me during my reign as Miss California USA.”