Miss Universe Leila Lopes answers fraud allegations, critics
Whether she had Cuban roots, or had falsified documents to compete in Miss Angola for a shot at Miss Universe, or enduring discriminatory jokes, Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes has had to handle quite a bit since her coronation a week ago. Now, the young beauty breaks her silence and addresses those who want to see her embroiled in controversy at any cost.
In an interview with Carmen Dominicci, for the Spanish-language news show Al Rojo Vivo, Lopes responded fearlessly to her critics, particularly the bigots.
"I love the color of my skin. The racists should worry more about what's on their minds."
>>> EXCLUSIVE MISS UNIVERSE 2011 VIDEO
It is precisely because of everything she has endured already that the 25-year-old has vowed to fight discrimination, as well as another subject close to her heart -- children with the AIDS virus.
"I feel very blessed and proud of myself," she told Dominicci.
One of the more candid moments during the interview came when the Puerto Rican journalist asked Lopes how she feels she got voted to be the most beautiful woman in the world, given the strong discriminatory campaign mounted against her.
"It truly doesn't affect me. I like who I am and am proud to be African. I love the color of my skin, my features and my hair. The racists are the ones that should be concerned with what's going on in their minds."
Of course, she also didn't spare the opportunity to address the alleged falsification of documents just to be eligible to compete for Miss Universe, about which she was quite clear.
"I honestly don't know where they got that information. I gave Miss Universe all the required documentation. I'm legal. I just would like to begin the work of Miss Universe. What was said doesn't affect me because I know that [the naysayers] are in the wrong and I'm in the right. I have the documentation in my hands."
Lopes also didn't back down from the chance to discuss whether she is, in fact, of Cuban heritage.
"I'm 100 percent Angolan. The last name Lopes comes from the fact that Angola was colonized by the Portuguese."
And just like that, Miss Universe 2011 debunked the early rumors surrounding the start of her reign, to focus on what's important in her yearlong rule.
"I want to show the good things about Africa to the world. I want to show that we are also good people, cheerful and decent. Everyone knows we have problems."
Do you feel racism lead to the controversy surrounding Miss Universe 2011, Leila Lopes?
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