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Thursday
Mar312011

Miss Dominican Republic Loser Says Title Winner Paid for Crown

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The president of the Miss Universe organization defended the group's handling of this year's Miss Dominican Republic competition amid accusations that the title winner paid for her crown.

Paula Shugart, head of the Miss Universe organization, which runs the Miss Dominican Republic event, said she has seen no evidence of improper behavior at the March 8 event.

"We pride ourselves on running a proper pageant," Shugart told ABC News. "We obviously take these kinds of claims seriously but we have heard nothing but great things about how the pageant was run."

Evi Siskos, a finalist for Miss Dominican Republic, claimed Wednesday that the winner, Dalia Fernandez, paid more than $100,000 to win the beauty competition. Siskos says she made the claims after reading tabloid stories in the Spanish-language press in the Dominican Republic.

"We started reading stories in the press that the crown was bought," she said at a press conference in New York. "We deserve an explanation."

Siskos' attorney, Jacob Oresky, pleaded with Donald Trump to investigate the claims. Trump is part owner, along with NBC, of the Miss Universe organization.

"Donald Trump is a fair man. He's very powerful. He should look into it," Oresky said at the press conference. "There are allegations that the crown was bought."

Shugart, the Miss Universe president, says she hasn't heard directly from Siskos or her attorney and has yet to see concrete details of the claims.

Oresky did not return calls seeking comment Thursday. Dalia Fernandez, who will compete in the Miss Universe pageant in August, has yet to weigh in on the payment accusations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio