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Miss Universe Organization defends 'rightful' winner R'Bonney Gabriel from rigging allegations

By Melanie Uson Published Jan 19, 2023 4:59 pm

Miss Universe Organization is standing firm against the rigging allegations involving the pageant's 2023 champion, Miss USA R'Bonney Gabriel.

In a statement released to Los Angeles Times, the organization's CEO Amy Emmeric refuted circulating allegations about the recently concluded pageant, pointing out that the results were handled by an independent party.

Emmerich wrote in the statement, “The allegations re: rigging of Miss Universe are false."

“People saying that it ‘suspect’ that JKN Global Group owns both Miss Universe and Miss USA aren’t familiar with the history of the organizations. One of the top 4 accounting firms in the United States handled the results and verified the process."

Emmerich went on to defend the newly crowned queen, saying that "R’Bonney has been a strong and dedicated contestant. She is the rightful Miss Universe."

"I look forward to this much attention being focused on her non-profit work as well," she added.

The organization affirmed Emmerich's take on the issue, through a separate statement that says, "The false rigging allegations are absurd and distract from the incredible milestones our organization and the delegates experienced this weekend.”

Prior to this, the beauty queen also received "rigging" allegations in her country for winning the Miss USA title in October 2022. Fellow candidates felt like there had been "favoritism towards Miss Texas USA," further saying that they never had a "fair chance" of winning the crown.

R'Bonney told the People that time, "I would never want to enter a competition that was rigged."

This year's Miss Universe has been one for the books for many of its firsts, with the organization being owned by a trans woman for the first time and crowning its very first Filipino American queen, R'Bonney Gabriel.