She’s not the first and certainly not the last beauty queen to be embroiled in a scandal.
There’s a long list of controversial Beauty Pageants, who’ve been involved in some scandals which has resulted in them being dethroned. Even our own Angelina Musasiwa was implicated in a highly publicised 90s scandal.
Džejla Glavović (Bosnian) Miss Earth 2002
Džejla Glavović was crowned in the Philippines as the second Miss Earth representing her country Bosnia and Herzegovina and became the first Bosnian woman to win a major international title in beauty contest.
Džejla was the first Miss Earth pageant winner to be dethroned on May 28, 2003, being succeeded by her first-runner up, Winfred Omwakwe of Kenya. This came in the same year when another pageant winner, Miss Universe’s Oxana Fedorova was dethroned. First runner-up from Kenya, Winfred Omwakwe, took over the position of Miss Earth 2002. Omwakwe was formally crowned as the new Miss Earth 2002 on August 7, 2003 at the Carousel Gardens in Mandaluyong City, Philippines.
Oxana Gennadyevna Fedorova (Russian) Miss Universe 2002
Fedorova became the first Miss Russia to win the Miss Universe contest. She began in the entertainment business as a model and became Miss St. Petersburg in 1999 and Miss Russia in 2001. Carousel Productions, the pageant organizer, cited her failure to fulfill her duties as the main reason for her unseating.
The crown was passed on to Panama’s Justine Pasek, the first runner-up, who consequently became her country’s first Miss Universe.Fedorova was the first Miss Universe who officially did not finish her reign (although the very first Miss Universe, Armi Kuusela, gave up her title a month before her reign ended and Amparo Muñoz of Spain was “unofficially” dethroned in 1974). Although the Miss Universe Organization refuses to recognize Fedorova as a former Miss Universe, she is generally regarded as one by the public.
Vanessa Williams (USA 1984) Miss America
The crowning of Williams made her the first-ever African American Miss America. For the first time in pageant history, a reigning Miss America was the target of death threats and angry racist hate mail.
Ten months into her reign as Miss America, she received an anonymous phone call stating that nude photos of her taken by a photographer prior to her pageant days had surfaced. Williams believed the photographs were private and had been destroyed; she claims she never signed a release permitting the photos to be used.
The photos dated back to 1982, when she worked as an assistant and makeup artist for Mount Kisco, N.Y. photographer Tom Chiapel. According to Williams, Chiapel advised her that he wanted to try a “new concept of silhouettes with two models.” He photographed Williams and another woman in several nude poses. The photographs depicted mild overtones of simulated lesbian sex, which was quite controversial for its time.
Bob Guccione, the publisher of Penthouse, announced that his magazine would publish the photos in their September 1984 issue, and paid Chiapel for the rights to them without Williams’ consent. After days of media frenzy and sponsors threatening to pull out of the upcoming 1985 pageant, Williams felt pressured by Miss America Pageant officials to resign, and did so in a press conference on July 23, 1984.
The title subsequently went to first-runner up Suzette Charles, who is also African-American. In early September 1984, Vanessa filed an unheralded $500 million lawsuit against Chiapel and Guccione. According to a Williams family representative, she eventually dropped the suit to avoid further legal battles choosing to move on with her life. Vanessa is quoted as saying “the best revenge is success.”
Although she resigned from fulfilling the duties of a current Miss America, she was allowed to keep the bejeweled crown and scholarship money and is officially recognized by the Miss America Organization today as “Miss America 1984 – A” and Suzette Charles as “Miss America 1984 – B.”
Domonique Ramirez (USA 2011) Miss San Antonio
Seventeen year old beauty queen, Domonique Ramirez, allegedly was told by San Antonio pageant officials to “get off the tacos” after gaining weight while holding the Miss San Antonio title. According to officials, Ramirez showed up for a bikini shoot overweight, making the photographs “un-usable.” She was eventually stripped of her crown. According to pageant officials, the 5’8″, 128 lb teenager, was cited for breach of contract over bad behavior, claiming that her weight gain wasn’t the issue. They have stated that Ramirez breached her contract when she showed up late for events, failed to write thank you notes, turned down vocal coaching from an opera singer, and failed to participate in a fitness training program.
Runner-up, Ashley Dixon, was given the title of Miss San Antonio. Ramirez sued the San Antonio pageant for wrongly stripping her of her crown. On March 24, 2011, a jury of five men and seven women deliberating for 11 hours, ruled in her favor, stating that it was pageant officials that had breached the contract. Judge Barbara Nellermoe restored Ramirez’s title and cleared the way for her to compete in Miss Texas and Miss America.
Carrie Prejean (USA 2009) Miss Califonia
former Miss California USA 2009, had her crown officially revoked following “contract violations including Ms. Prejean’s unwillingness to make appearances on behalf of the Miss California USA organization,” Keith Lewis, the pageant’s executive director, said. Prejean’s dethroning comes after a series of controversies – including the surfacing of topless photos and comments made to Perez Hilton against gay marriage.The former Miss California now stands accused of a great act of hypocrisy after starring in what is being described as a ‘solo sex tape’.This prima donna certainly knows how to bite the hand that feeds her – despite all the previous hubbub about the racy pictures and offensive statements, Donald Trump still granted her clemency and permitted her to keep the crown. After all that, she still proceeds to get herself fired anyway.
The list is endless, names too many to mention, most of them disappears back into oblivion.
Only time will tell if Zimbabwe will ever produce another Dionne Best or Angeline Musasiwa or Brita Masalethulini.