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'Heartbreaking' Trump-O'Donnell Feud Started Over Ex-Miss USA: 'I Felt Like a Puppet'


A former Miss USA at the center of the feud between Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell is sharing her side of the story.

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The decade-long fight started in 2006 after Tara Conner, the reigning Miss USA, tested positive for cocaine.

"I was scared," she recalled as she spoke to Inside Edition. "I was nervous. I was in a very, very dark place."

But rather than stripping her of her crown, Trump gave her a "second chance"as long as she entered rehab. He called a press conference to announce his decision.

"I was dizzy because I had so many cameras on me," Conner said. "I felt a little bit like a puppet. Personally I wish we could have handled it in a one-on-one capacity — without having to do it in front of everyone.”

Afterwards, Rosie O'Donnell, who was then a co-host on "The View," questioned Trump's position as “the moral authority" and called him a "snake-oil salesman."

Conner still finds O'Donnell's statements about her hard to watch.

“I think that his response was heartbreaking, I think that her response was heartbreaking,” she said. “I'm being mocked, I’m being judged because I was in a beauty pageant and my life was on the line and I almost died.”

Conner also bristles at the idea that Trump takes credit for giving her a second chance.

“I was a sick person trying to figure out my life,” she said. “I don't like it when people say Donald saved my life. I figured out what I was suffering from. I started my journey to recovery. I did all of that. No one can keep me sober but me and God.”

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Now sober for nine years, she is using her experience to influence others and works assisting people recover from drug abuse.

She is floored that her part in the Trump-O'Donnell feud continues to be a talking point.

“Anytime I hear that part of my life and being attached to a presidential race, I say “What?!,” she said.

As for who'll she vote for — that's "none of your business," she said.

Watch: Trump Nemesis Rosie O'Donnell Meets Ivanka, a Week After Donald Mentions Comedian in Debate

 

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