Alicia Machado, Former Miss Universe Who Says Trump Called Her "Miss Piggy," Thanks Clinton

Alicia Machado - Getty - H 2016
Michael Boardman/Getty Images

During Monday's presidential debate, Hillary Clinton mentioned the former Miss Venezuela, who became a U.S. citizen in May.

During Monday night's debate, Hillary Clinton defended a former Miss Universe winner who claimed Donald Trump had called her "Miss Piggy" for gaining weight. "Her name is Alicia Machado, not 'Miss Housekeeping' can bet she's going to vote this November," the Democratic presidential candidate said, referencing another claim of name-calling on Trump's behalf. "This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs."

"Where did you find this?" said Trump, who then defended his past statements against women, including those against Rosie O'Donnell.

Machado took to Twitter after the debate to thank Clinton for the shout-out, saying, "I'm with you."

Machado was crowned Miss Universe at age 19 in 1996, the year Trump took over as co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization. The '96 contest was co-hosted by Trump's then-wife, Marla Maples.

After she was crowned, Miss Venezuela said, she gained 42 pounds and claimed Trump referred to her as "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping," the latter referencing her accent. 

Trump called her an "eating machine" on the Howard Stern show, according to a New York Times report, and invited 100 media outlets to watch her work out in a gym. The footage can be seen in an Inside Edition special that Clinton shared to her followers after Monday's debate.

In the interview, the model said she felt bullied, "very depressed" and that the experience led to years of eating disorders and psychotherapy.

After the debate, Clinton released an ad, featuring Machado, which she tweeted less than an hour after her face-off with Trump.

Machado took to Instagram in May to announce that she had become a U.S. citizen and would be voting for Clinton.

During the debate, she also took to Twitter to post a photo with her passport.

The annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants ended their relationship with Trump in June of 2015, at the same time his tenure with Celebrity Apprentice came to a close. NBC made an announcement days after Trump first announced his plans to build a wall, citing his "insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants." At the time, Trump said it was his decision to step down, saying, "I have to do that because my view on immigration is much different than the people at NBC."

Clinton and Trump went head-to-head in their first debate of the general election Monday night at Hofstra University in New York. Watch the replay here.