NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Donald is fighting back.
Donald Trump, the real-estate developer and sometime TV personality, said he's filed a $500 million lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against Spanish-language Univision, claiming it violated its contract and is required to broadcast the Miss USA pageant live on TV.
In an emailed statement, Trump called Univision's move to cancel broadcasting the pageant a politically motivated attempt to suppress his freedom of speech.
"Nothing that I stated was different from what I have been saying for many years. I want strong borders, and I do not support or condone illegal immigration." He added, "I have great respect for Mexico and love for the Mexican people and their tremendous spirit!"
Trump's statement was in stark contrast to comments he made on June 16 when announcing his candidacy for the Republican Party's presidential nomination. In that speech, the frequent host of The Celebrity Apprentice on Comcast's (CMCSA) - Get Report NBC sweepingly referred to Mexican immigrants as "rapists," charging that they did little more than bring drugs and crime into the U.S.
In response, Univision on June 25 said it wouldn't air the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, of which Trump is a part owner.
Comcast, which supported Trump for years through his long-running show, followed Univision on Monday, also cutting ties with Trump.
Trump shot back at NBC, charging that he had told NBC "long ago" he would not be doing The Apprentice -- renewed for a 15th season -- because of his presidential run.
"If NBC is so weak and so foolish to not understand the serious illegal immigration problem in the United States, coupled with the horrendous and unfair trade deals we are making with Mexico, then their contract violating closure of Miss Universe/Miss USA will be determined in court," Trump said in an emailed statement.
Whether Trump's personal business as a media brand is irreparably harmed by the past few weeks remains to be seen.
According to Forbes, Trump's net worth is roughly $4.1 billion. He owns prime properties such as Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street and the Doral golf resort in Miami, as well as a winery, helicopters, planes and numerous real estate licensing deals.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held TK positions in the stocks mentioned.