Rima in Sin City. - David Becker/FilmMagic
According to Fox News, current titleholder Rima Fakih broke rules of conduct when she was suspected of sneaking out to party all night last week -- and then lied about it. The Miss Universe Organization, which rules over its winners with an iron fist, requested security tapes to judge whether a cover-up was in play.
"There was one night last week where she had some interviews the next day," says Paula Shugart, the organization's president. "First we thought she wasn't at the apartment (which she shares in Manhattan with Miss Universe), and someone (from the PR team) was trying to get her to the interview. She was sound asleep, and looked like she'd been out all night. She made the interviews, but we did ask about the security tapes, as it is a serious business especially after Tara Conner."
The striking 25-year-old will surrender her crown during the Miss USA Pageant on June 20. Given the personal restrictions that come with the gig -- you have to be on your best Kate Middleton behavior, at all times -- it might be a bit of a release for the fun-loving Fakih.
"We usually like to keep a handle on them," Shugart tells Fox. "We have talent managers to keep track, and they are supposed to tell us when they go out. Rima is definitely a high spirited, fun person. If she went out that night it wouldn't surprise us. ... I don't know if I'll ever know where she went, or when she got in."
Uh, seriously? Then the Miss Universe Organization is a strict all-girls boarding school, and Fakih's so-called transgression is the equivalent of sneaking out the window. She can blame Conner, the disgraced former Miss USA who was allowed to retain her crown on condition that she go to rehab for substance abuse issues. (Recall Donald Trump held a press conference to address her fate.) That's not the case with Fakih, but Shugart encouraged her to have a sitdown with Conner, who reportedly told the embattled, current sash-wearer that telling the truth about slip-ups makes things easier on everybody. Nobody wants another public scolding by The Donald.
Fakih's run as the 2010 queen has not been the smoothest: last May, photos emerged of the former Miss Michigan dancing on a stripper pole circa 2007 as part of a promotional event.
Memo to aspiring Miss USAs, Universes and Americas: stay off the pole, and get some beauty sleep.
- Tara Conner