- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 19, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) — Miss USA Tara Conner, who had come under criticism amid rumors she had been frequenting bars while underage, will be allowed to keep her title, Donald Trump announced Tuesday.

“I’ve always been a believer in second chances,” Trump, who owns the Miss Universe Organization with NBC, said with Conner at his side.

Trump said he and Conner had met earlier Tuesday morning.

“She left a small town in Kentucky and she was telling me that she got caught up in the whirlwind of New York,” Trump said. “It’s a story that has happened many times before to many women and many men who came to the Big Apple. They wanted their slice of the Big Apple and they found out it wasn’t so easy.”

Conner won the title in April and has been living in New York. Recent media accounts of heavy drinking brought a storm of criticism, since she was underage at the time. She turned 21 on Monday.

In a tear-choked voice, Conner said, “In no way did I think it would be possible for a second chance to be given to me.”

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