Photo: Getty Images
When Donald called a press conference to address Tara's positive drug test, she says she thought she was going to lose her crown. Although Tara asked Donald for a second chance, she says she would have been okay either way. "Part of me was like, 'Wow, all of my skeletons are out there,'" she says. "There's a freedom that comes with that."
After hearing Tara's revelations about her drug use during the pageant, Donald says Tara shouldn't have won the title. "We didn't know about her drug use," he says. "Had we had an idea, she probably wouldn't have been in the contest to start off with. I'm sure that she would not be Miss USA."
From the beginning of Tara's reign, Donald says the Miss USA staff wanted her out. Originally, Donald planned on firing her, but after meeting with her in his office, he had a change of heart. "I hated it from the concept of what it would do to somebody's life," he says. "I said I was going to give her a second chance. ... The biggest backlash I had was not from the public. I think the public liked it. The biggest backlash I had was from the staff."
Donald has personal reasons for his decision. His brother, Fred, was an alcoholic. "He had everything, but he got hooked on alcohol, and it killed him," Donald says. "I believe in second chances, and sometimes it works when you give somebody a second chance. She went from being a disaster to being a terrific Miss USA. But, much more importantly, she sets an example for so many other people that are going through the same thing."