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Donald Trump has vetoed a decision to ban Jenna Talackova from the Miss Universe Canada competition.
The 23-year-old blonde, who has been open about undergoing sexual reassignment operation at age 19, was disqualified from the beauty pageant because she was born male, ABC News reported.
But in a reversal, The Trump Organization — which owns Miss Universe Canada — announced Monday that it was giving Talackova another chance to win the crown. The winner will advance to the Trump-operated Miss Universe pageant.
“The Miss Universe Organization will allow Jenna Talackova to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions,” said Michael D. Cohen, executive vice president and special counsel to Trump, in a statement.
She was initially picked to compete alongside 64 other Canadian contenders but cut loose on Friday.
“Jenna falsified her application when she said she was born female,” said the Miss Universe Organization in a statement,” adding “the Miss Universe pageant has rules which apply to all of its franchises around the world.”
Talackova said in a 2010 interview for the Miss International Queen competition that she began hormone therapy at 14 years old, then had surgery five years later.
She’s hired attorney Gloria Allred to represent her, and Allred has called a press conference for Tuesday to address the issue and any legal action the two will take should she not gain permission to compete.
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