Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado did not expressly deny allegations that she was involved with a murder or once threatened to kill a judge during an interview Tuesday night on CNN, saying "I’m not a saint girl."
Machado, a Venezuelan, has come into the spotlight after Hillary Clinton name-dropped her at Monday night’s presidential debate and the alleged treatment she received at the hands of Donald Trump at the time. According to Machado, Trump, then the co-owner of the pageant, humiliated her with comments about her weight gain and ethnicity, calling her "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping."
She has endorsed Clinton and has made a round of media appearances this week to discuss her experiences with Trump. Trump surrogates have pushed back with reports about Machado’s past, and, in a clip flagged by Mediaite, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked her about them.
"There are reports that Trump surrogates tonight have been referencing and pointing to on CNN and elsewhere about an incident in 1998 in Venezuela, where you were accused of driving a getaway car from a murder scene," Cooper said. "You were never charged with this. The judge in the case also said you threatened to kill him after he indicted your boyfriend for the attempted murder. I just want to give you a chance to address these reports that the Trump surrogates are talking about."
Machado waved her hand flippantly.
"He can say whatever he wants to say," she said. "I don’t care. You know, I have my past, of course. Everybody has a past, and I’m not a saint girl."
She put her hands together like a nun praying.
"But that is not a point now," she said. "That moment in Venezuela was wrong, was another speculation about my life, because I’m a really famous person in my country, because I’m an actress there and in Mexico, too, and he can use whatever he wants to use. The point is, that happened 20 years ago. He was really rude with me. He tried to destroy my self-esteem."
Machado was also accused by a protected witness of having a child with drug kingpin Jose Gerardo Alvarez Vazquez, although she has claimed the child’s father is a respected businessman. The witness said Vazquez, also known as "El Indio," and other known drug traffickers attended the child’s baptism in 2008.
Cooper later noted on AC 360 that Machado did not refute him when he asked the question.
"Not everybody’s driven a getaway car or threatened a judge, but it’s interesting," Cooper said. "I mean, she basically just sort of says, look, people have a past, but this past is what happened."
Political correspondent Gloria Borger also said Machado did not deny the charge but said her message of Trump’s behavior still would resonate.
"The more she talks about it, it’s not good for Donald Trump with women," she said. "She is not perfect. She does have a checkered past, obviously, but I do think that she was very clear about her message, which is that he was rude and a bad person."