Sushmita Sen lost her passport before Miss Universe, organisers wanted to send Aishwarya Rai instead

Despite Sushmita Sen getting crowned Miss India, there came a point when the organisers suggested that Aishwarya Rai be sent for the Miss Universe pageant. Here’s why.
Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai won Miss Universe and Miss World pageants in the same year.
Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai won Miss Universe and Miss World pageants in the same year.
Updated on Jun 04, 2019 11:28 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Actor Sushmita Sen has revealed a shocking story about her and actor Aishwarya Rai. Sushmita defeated Aishwarya at the Miss India beauty pageant in 1994 but both of them won at the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants, respectively.

In a recent interview with journalist Rajeev Masand, Sushmita shared a story about how she lost her passport right before she was supposed to leave for the Miss Universe pageant in Philippines. “It was given to Anupama Verma, then a very famous model and she was also a co-ordinator for events. She had my passport for a show in Bangladesh. She needed it for some ID proofing. So I very confidently told Miss India, ‘Don’t worry my passport is very safely with Anupama Verma’. She couldn’t find it. So she did take responsibility for it and she said ‘I don’t know what I have done’ but the timing of it was scary,” she said. Sushmita added that even though she told her father about it, there wasn’t much he could do as her family had no connections with affluent people.


She added that she wasn’t helped by organisers. The interviewer then told her that he had heard the organisers suggested to let Aishwarya compete in the Miss Universe pageant instead and she went for Miss World. She said that it was correct and the proposal made her very angry.

“Because when you win something, rightfully so, you’re not requesting it. So we now have to come together and ensure that this gets done. It’s easy to say ‘Yea, well now we can’t find it. The passport is lost. Miss World is in November. You go later, we’ll figure out your passport till then.’”

However, she put her foot down. “I only cried in front of my father and I said, ‘Baba, I’m not going for anything else. I rightfully deserve to go for this. If I can’t go, nobody else will go for it’,” she said. It all got resolved when her father somehow got help from late union minister Rajesh Pilot, who said that Sushmita needs all the help as she is representing the country.

However, she maintained that there is no bad blood between her and Aishwarya. “It was never anything like that. If you go back, luckily social media and interviews by you and other people at least on television, if you go back and retrace that journey, I have always been very warm to her. The idea that I have ever been cold with her is an absolute fallacy like it doesn’t exist,” she said.

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“I cannot speak for Aishwarya because she is a different person. There’s the way she approaches things which is completely hers. But there was absolutely zero cold vibes,” she added.


Sushmita said that the two meet often now. “For that, we have to spend time enough. But we are definitely very cordial, I meet her often even now after so many years and I see her now as a mom. Our lives have evolved and so beautifully. We were meant to be different people, we are different people,” she said.

Recently, Sushmita’s boyfriend Rohman Shawl and daughters Renee and Alisah crowned her yet again as they celebrated 25 years of her being crowned Miss Universe. Sushmita on Thursday tweeted a photograph of a cake decorated with a tiara. She captioned it: “What a journey! Thank you my Motherland India for giving me my proudest identity. The love, respect and adulation I have been showered with for 25 years is undoubtedly my life’s greatest earning!”

After winning the title at the age of 18, Sushmita made her foray into acting with the 1996 Bollywood film Dastak and later featured in movies like Sirf Tum, Biwi No. 1 and Main Hoon Na.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022