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Trump: Tara NOT Fired, Will Enter Rehab

12/19/2006 1:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Donald the Forgiving?

In a move that shocked anyone who has ever seen "The Apprentice," including Tara Conner, Donald Trump announced Tuesday morning that he will not fire the embattled Miss USA, despite allegations of drug use, underage drinking and sexual misconduct.

"She's agreed to go into rehab. She knows that if she makes even the slightest mistake from here on, she will be immediately replaced," said Trump. The carefully coifed billionaire explained that he will use Conner as a role model. "I believe she can do a tremendous service to young people."

Fighting back tears, and with her voice shaking, Conner thanked Trump for the pardon saying, "In no way did I think it would be possible for a second chance to be given to me." She then went on to shower the Donald in compliments; "I've had a very big blessing bestowed on me. It truly takes someone with a wonderful heart, a heart of gold and a blessed soul."

Midway through the press conference, Conner briefly ran offstage and donned her Miss USA sash, proving that she's keeping her crown.

481 COMMENTS

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121.

lissabell    

I'm not reading all the comments but I will say this, Donald Trump is a very smart business man. We are only hearing and reading the negative stories about this girl. We are not on the inside. I'm sure Donald has an ulterior motive (and I'm not talking about sexual favors, I've managed to read some of those posts). Donald has made millions and not by making errors in the business world. There is obliviously something we are not privy to.

2775 days ago
122.

yoshiro aoki    

The Don did the right thing. He is investing in a young person that’s been there and almost lost it. Its a gamble, but it can show to others that the world is not entirely cut-throat, that there is still hope, that some people who matter can read between the lines and give a pardon.
If he had simply fired her, the world would have quickly forgotten about the whole thing. But he didn’t, and now forgiveness, second chances, and the true weight of being Miss USA is the talk of the nation. She must be a truly impressive person to be granted such reprieve.
She will be under intense scrutiny. The payoff if she succeeds is a message that she can remove herself from a bad situation and correct herself, that the media ‘perfect’ are imperfect and indeed struggle with the rest of us, and that an inspiration to everyone, especially young people, by her example may be gained.
Bravo, Don. Lets hope she acknowledges her responsibilities and grows up to meet them.
y.aoki, honolulu, hawai'i

2775 days ago
123.

TJ    

What is the point of beauty pageants anyway? Who decides who and what is beautiful? A pretty face and body deserves an award? Why doesn't content of character, goodness of heart count? This girl is a joke and an embarrassment to her country. In a year she will be all but forgotten and can never look back on her life with pride. She has accomplished nothing. A pretty face perhaps but not at all attractive on the inside which, in the end, is all that matters. Donald Trump is an old fool who only worships the all mighty dollar and is also not respected by anyone.

2775 days ago
124.

Mic    

Trump is crazy. She should have been fired. Her comments only touched on the fact that she appreciated the chance to still be Miss USA. She is only dropping tears to keep her job. What are we telling our children, that there will be only a slap on the wrist if you break the law? She should be ashamed of herself and go back to Kentucky to seek rehab that should be her second chance. Rehab and community work, not to be a representative to all women. Shameful!!!!!

2775 days ago
125.

Carl    

Hot looking White trash always get away when in trouble.

2775 days ago
126.

Diego Chick    

In response to #147: I couldn't agree more. Trump's wife is a coke whore. Whore, literally, BTW: Selling one's body (and identity) for the almighty $$. But he's just a combed-over egocentric with a small prick; so heck, let 'em have each other. Tara, Tara. Practice makes perfect, doesn't it? Just bob, bob, bob and you'll never have to get a real education. Maybe you'll be the next in line for The Donald, yourself. Never mind the dead cat on laying his head. And just ignore the title: "Prenuptial Agreement" when you see it, and sign at the bottom. It just means "I promise you a lifetime of publicity and endless lines of coke, and use of chargecards in my name, for as long as my bottle of Viagra shall last."

2775 days ago
127.

Rachel    

Of course she's full of sh*t. She looked pretty damn happy in the pic partying. She got busted so now she's apologizing, she doesn't mean a word of it. Yeah, great role model, a drugged out, drunken, morally bankrupt dope. Hope my daughter grows up to be just like Tara (NOT)
I think its time to stop these ridiculous pageants. However, maybe the black girl from California (who is prettier in my opinion) would have brought some class to the title. Donald's an idiot.

2775 days ago
128.

genez    

OMG, I'm part of the problem!

Getting...weaker!....must.....save .....self.

Post...no more!.....Everyone....! Post....no more!

2775 days ago
129.

stella    

Oh please, first off, Donald is taken with her beauty and body. Melania better watch herself. Secondly, Donald has stated that he does NOT touch alcohol. Why is he condoning this behaivor????? He is enabling her and there is no guarantee rehab will help this girl. She needs her ass booted out to teach her a life lesson............I guess boobs, being blonde and 21 helps.

2775 days ago
130.

Alice    

THis is so disgusting. I mean really, Tara had the easiest job on the planet: look pretty and dont act like a drunken whore. I realized after looking into her background that Tara really is nothing more than a dumb kentucky small town girl. She lacks the eductional and community service qualifications of Tamiko, who not only graduated from college, but is the head of an organization dedicated to empowering abused women, and is also a teacher. Tara, in contrast, has done nothing but win beauty pagents and start attending a community college. HOW Tara won to begin with is beyond me.

Its a disgrace that the standards are set so low to become a Miss USA - these girls dont have to be particualrly talented, educated, or involved with their community. You;d think at LEAST the franchise could ask them to not act like mtv real world sluts.

Trumps decision today to keep Tara on solidified the Miss USA franchise as an utter laughing stock. Maybe some day we could have a pagent that demands that these girls have actually contrubuted something to society, and bettered themselves through education or community service, and had a little character and moral fiber. I have no sympathy for Tara. zero. Many of us have been fired for less. She didnt deserve the crown to begin with, and she most certainly doesnt deserve it now.

2775 days ago
131.

No Really..    

What she did was ILLEGAL.. cocaine, underage drinking, she's a role-model for christ sakes. And the thought of having a Miss. USA in rehab is bewildering. No wonder American is the most laughed at country, everything we do is for publicity. Shame Shame Shaem.

2775 days ago
132.

Pug Marx    

Tara should have been fired. I would not want my daughter or son around her. It is obvious her mother raised her to be shallow beauty contestant, no talent, no intelligence and obviously no class or honor. Small town has nothing to do with her tasteless lifestyle which shows her true nature. What was worse is the fact she brought the 18 yr old Miss Teen into her penchant for drugs, booze, and sexual promiscuity. I would not like for Tara Conner to come to any charity event I support. Tara Conner has more in common with Tara O'Connor. She is NOT Miss USA.

2775 days ago
133.

ReadThisBrittany    

Come on, come on, come on you guys! Trump is loving all this FREE publicity, and that's ALL he's concerned about.

2775 days ago
134.

AngelG.1    

I dont think it is a race thing, I think its a blond thing. All women of color have known a least one blond ( real or from the bottle- every race included! that do some very stupid things, and put on that " oh my, I just cant do this, fix this etc.)act. But men will walk all over all of us white black, asian and in between to run to help the little ...... wait - The Donald just gave a press meeting and he is ,oh my gawd, giveing her a second chance!!!! It is 12:15 Eastern time , and she is headed back to Trump Towers to the apartment she had before, and keep all her benifits, money etc. The Donald said in hie interview that every body needs a second chance so no "youre fired" for this slut!!! I dont work anymore, but I was in social services for 15 years , and you could get fired for looking like you were giving a clint too much attention and letting them slide with things that would get other clints kicked out of treatment ! Maybe now that his wife had the baby the sex is not so good , so of course he needs new strange, why do you think he owns the pagent, its easier to get to the girls , and I think he made that chick an offer she could not refuse- she goes both ways and she loves to drink- what more could he want !!! I still cant wait for the next season of the Appentice that show rules . Peace and Love :)

2775 days ago
135.

Me    

The Donald probably thought he was doing the right thing, i.e., send her to rehab so she can come back and he can have more press conferences on the Great Redemption of 2006, give us weekly or monthly "progress reports", etc. If he'd let the 1st runner-up take over, that would've have been the end of the publicity. With rehab, he can still milk this one until her reign officially ends.

However, judging from the backlash on this board alone, methinks this publicity move has already backfired on him, making him look more stupid than noble.

2775 days ago
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