Rima Fakih, an Arab American from Dearborn, Mich., was crowned Miss USA May 16 and is believed to be the first Muslim to win the coveted title. However, pageant records are not detailed enough to confirm whether Fakih, 24, is indeed the first Muslim, Arab American or immigrant to win the title.
The daughter of Lebanese parents, Fakih said her family celebrates both Muslim and Christian holidays and she attended Catholic school. The family moved to Michigan in 2003 and Fakih was raised in New York.
After the pageant, Fakih spoke with reporters about her near fall during the evening gown segment of the competition.
“I better not do it at Miss Universe,” she said. “Modeling does help, after all.”
Soon after Fakih’s unprecedented win, however, she was embroiled in scandal. Radio show MojoInTheMorning.com exposed Fakih as a former champion pole dancer when they posted photos of her participating in the “Stripper 101” contest at The Coliseum Gentlemen’s Club in Detroit in 2007.