Miss USA embroiled in stripper row
Lebanese-born Rima Fakih, who became the first Muslim Miss USA, seems to have landed in trouble after news surfaced of her winning a pole dancing contest at a strip club.entertainment Updated: May 19, 2010 20:48 IST
Fakih, 24, was photographed sliding up and down a stripper’s pole in a blue tank top, hot pants and high heels. Other photographs from the competition showed her wearing a bra stuffed with dollar bills, reports dailymail.co.uk.
The photos were posted on the website of a Detroit-based radio show following her triumph at the beauty pageant Sunday in Las Vegas where she had beaten 50 other contestants to win the crown.
The radio show's producers claim they have been contacted by the organisers of the Miss Universe competition requesting additional information regarding Miss Fakih's involvement.
As the winner of Miss USA, the 24-year-old marketing executive from Michigan will represent the country in the international beauty contest later this year.
It is not known if organisers of Miss USA were aware of Miss Fakih winning the 'Stripper 101' contest at the Coliseum Gentleman's Club. She is believed to have won a variety of prizes, including adult toys and a stripper's pole.
The pageant, co-owned by Donald Trump and NBC, was held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Sunday night. Trump has refused to comment.
Supporters had claimed that her success in the beauty pageant contest showed the true face of Arab Americans at a time when they have come under the spotlight over attempted terror attacks.
"We have culture. We have beauty. We have history, and today we made history," dailymail.co.uk. quoted her friend Zouheir Alawieh as saying.
Fakih emigrated to the US with her family when she was three. While Islam disapproves of women showing their bodies in public, Fakih said she was encouraged to enter beauty competitions by her parents.
Fakih competed against the other women in the swimsuit, evening gown and interview competitions.
She nearly fell while finishing her walk in a long, strapless gown because of the length of its train, but managed to recover.
In the interview, Fakih was asked whether she thought birth control should be paid for by health insurance.
She said: "I believe that birth control is just like every other medication even though it’s a controlled substance."
The Miss USA pageant has been dogged by controversy in recent years.
Last year's winner Carrie Prejean was stripped off her title after it emerged that she had made a sex tape.
She also caused controversy by claiming during the pageant that marriage should be between "a man and a woman".
And in 2006 Tara Conner, 20, admitted to taking drugs and underage drinking. She was allowed to keep her title after going into rehab.