Former Miss Arizona doesn't believe Trump allegations

Tasha Dixon's account of Donald Trump at 2001 Miss Universe. Former beauty pageant contestants speak out.

PHOENIX - When 27-year-old Brittany Kennada thinks of Donald Trump, she recalls a respectful and encouraging man who helped provide her with one of the best experiences of her life. 

"We met him at Miss USA on stage, fully clothed," she said. "We never saw him or anyone on his staff backstage where women are getting dressed."

Kennada represented Arizona in the 2011 Miss USA Pageant, when Trump still owned the organization before parting ways in 2015.

She says she has met Trump a few times and doesn't believe any of the allegations coming to light suggesting the presidential candidate walked into dressing rooms during competition where contestants were not fully clothed. 

Tasha Dixon, who was the 2001 Miss Arizona USA, told the Washington Post she was inside a dressing room when Trump came "waltzing in" as the women quickly tried to cover themselves.

RELATED: Miss Arizona USA: Trump was backstage as women changed clothes

"Since this story has come out of (Trump) walking in on (Dixon) – which he did not because he’s not backstage – it seems a case of a girl trying to get attention," Kennada said. 

Brenna Heater, the 2006 Miss Arizona USA, currently coaches contestants who have gone onto compete in both Miss USA and Miss Teen USA and says her experience was also positive. 

In an email to 12 News, Heater writes: 
 

"I will say that my experience with the Miss USA organization, and Donald Trump, in 2006 was nothing but wonderful. I met him very briefly at a contestant event in New York City.

He and Melania came into the dressing room but the staff made sure that all of the ladies were dressed before letting him in.

I haven't heard anything about Mr. Trump waking to a dressing room, but I really can't imagine that happening.

Security during Miss USA is extremely tight, and the chaperones would make sure that no men, including Mr. Trump, would go in unless all of the contestants were aware and dressed."

Alicia Blanco competed in 2009 and was the second runner-up. She says she didn't see Trump enter any dressing rooms while she was competing and only saw him once during a dress rehearsal.

"When he met all of the title holders, he did go down the line and ask all of us who we thought was the most beautiful," she said. "At the time it seemed harmless (and) awkward."

Blanco said she is disappointed in Trump's lewd comments about women that were recorded on a hot microphone while speaking with television host Billy Bush. She also said she was disappointed in what Trump said during a 2005 interview on the Howard Stern Show that suggested he had a right to "inspect" the pageant dressing rooms while women were changing because he, at the time, owned the organization. 

12 News reached out to the Trump campaign and the Miss USA Organization for comments on the allegations, but did not get a reply. The woman at the center of the allegations, Dixon, also did not respond to requests. 

The allegations have become the latest focal point of scrutiny for the presidential candidate that Kennada says she and others believe isn't fair. 

"Behind the scenes we are all furious because we all know Donald Trump is such an incredible and outstanding man," she said. 

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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