Sushmita Sen revealed she almost lost her Miss Universe crown, organisers wanted to send Aishwarya Rai
Sushmita Sen lost her passport right before she was to fly to the Philippines for the Miss Universe pageant in 1994.Updated: May 24, 2020 17:33 IST
Actor and beauty queen Sushmita Sen celebrated 26 years of her Miss Universe win last week. Sushmita was the first Indian to wear the crown in 1994.
However, did you know she almost lost the opportunity to participate in the pageant? Speaking to journalist Rajeev Masand last year, Sushmita had said that she lost her passport right before she was supposed to leave. “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.
Then came the big shock. Organisers of Miss India suggested that the Miss India pageant’s runner-up, actor Aishwarya Rai be sent in her place instead to the Miss Universe pageant. Meanwhile, Sushmita could go for the Miss World pageant. Of course, 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.’”
Sushmita then talked to her father about it and said she would go for no other pageant than Miss Universe. “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.
The issue was resolved when her father got help from late union minister Rajesh Pilot. He said that Sushmita needs all the help as she is representing the country.
As is now history, both Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen ended up winning their crowns of Miss World and Miss Universe.
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