Lebanese-American Miss USA embroiled in scandal
Photos reveal Rima Fakih, the first Arab-American Miss USA won a strip club pole dancing competition.
May 18, 2010 4:10 by Rasha Reslan
Probably the first Arab-American to win the Miss USA title, 24-year-old Rima Fakih is embroiled in controversy as her participation in a strip club pole dancing competition in 2007 became public, the Telegraph reported Tuesday.
Pictures from a 2007 ‘Stripper 101’ contest emerged just one day after Fakih won the Miss USA crown at the pageant held at Planet Hollywood hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
Miss Fakih made headlines with her victory, as probably the first Arab-American and first Muslim to win the pageant. Born in Lebanon, her family moved to the US when Fakih was a baby. Pageant officials have declined to confirm the historic “firsts,” saying that pageant records are not detailed enough.
During the competition, Fakih fielded controversial questions from panel judges, saying she was a supporter of states’ rights, an opponent of illegal immigration, and opposed to racial profiling. She also said that she believes health insurance should cover birth control pills.
Fakih told reporters that she sold her car after graduating from college in order to help finance the cost of entry to the Miss Michigan pageant.