Marlee Matlin Addresses Reports that Donald Trump Called Her 'Retarded': 'The Term is Abhorrent'
"The term is abhorrent," the Oscar-winning actress says
The reports followed an allegation that Trump had repeatedly hit on Matlin during the taping of the 11th season of the long-running reality show.
On Friday afternoon, the Oscar-winning actress tweeted her response.
“Recent media reports have circulated that Donald Trump allegedly referred to me as ‘retarded,’ ” she wrote. “The term is abhorrent and should never be used. The fact that we are talking about this during a very important moment in American history has upset me deeply.”
“I am Deaf,” she continues. “There are millions of Deaf and hard of hearing people like me, in the United States and around the world who face discrimination and misunderstanding like this on a daily basis. It is unacceptable.”
“So what’s my response? It’s not about insults or taking each other down,” she concludes. “As a person who is Deaf, as a woman, as a mom, as a wife, as an actor, I have a voice. And I’m using that voice to make myself heard…and vote.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Trump’s rep denied the report made by the Daily Beast: “Marlee Maitlin is such a nice person, and Mr. Trump has great respect for her, but this report is completely false.”