Former Miss Universe President Paula Shugart Breaks Silence Over Allegations From Current MUO Owner Anne Jakrajutatip 

Paula: “She also discredits the women who have won the Miss Universe crown by implying their titles were ‘bought’ and not earned by merit”

Former Miss Universe Organization (MUO) president Paula Shugart has belied the corruption allegation aired against her by Anne Jakrajutatip, the current owner of the franchise. 

The Thai business mogul has previously accused Paula of accepting “under-the-table” money to secure unnamed delegates’ placement in the annual beauty pageant.

Paula joined the MUO in 1998 and was appointed as president in 2001. She tendered her resignation from the post in November 2023. 

At that time, Paula said that her resignation took her months to make and was “not in response to recent events.” It can be recalled that her exit happened days after JKN Global Group, the Thai media company that holds the official franchise of MUO, filed for financial rehabilitation. 

READ ALSO: Miss Universe Owner Anne Jakrajutatip Belies Bankruptcy Claims

On Monday, February 19, 2024, Paula took to social media her grievances on the matter—complete with a lengthy explanation about the fabricated truths of the Thai national and the legal actions she is eager to forward. 

She writes, “Since announcing my resignation in November of 2023, I have sought to stay out of the spotlight, electing not to comment on any of the changes within the Miss Universe Organization, seeking only to quietly help the brand and its stakeholders, when requested with my historical knowledge and guidance. 

“However, recent false and outrageous comments made by Miss Universe owner Anne Jakrajutatip impugning my character have compelled me to break my silence.”

For Paula, she takes offense on how Anne has not only tarnished her integrity but also on how she discredits the Miss Universe winners for the hard work that they put into the competition. 

She continues, “Normally, I would choose to ignore such assertions but, by suggesting that I am corrupt and took money ‘under the table’ to secure placements in Miss Universe competitions, Jakrajutatip not only defames me, but she also discredits the women who have won the Miss Universe crown by implying their titles were ‘bought’ and not earned by merit.” 

With the threat Anne’s statements posed against the Miss Universe band and its winners, Paula says she is currently tapping on legal options she can take. 

Such an effort is also rooted in Paula’s commitment to the brand. She even emphasizes that this is not carried by any intention to engage in drama on social media. 

“Anyone who knows me knows the truth and what I stand for. I will let my years of work with some truly incredible women speak for itself.” 

Former Miss Universe titleholders back Paula Shugart 

In response to Paula’s statements, some of the previous winners of Miss Universe have taken her under their defense—collectively dispelling Anne’s false accusations. 

Some of the winners who offered support are Lupita Jones (1991), Brook Lee (1997), Ximena Navarette (2010), and Iris Mittenaere (2016). 

Miss Universe 2015 second runner-up Olivia Jordan has also taken time to give affirmation. 

Lupita comments, “You are a professional and a LADY, the truth always shines, and your light bothers the darkness.” 

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Brook’s statement, on the other hand, reads, “Everyone who KNOWS what you have done for each and every title holder both under your tutelage and those of us that were before your tenure to show up and support ALL women, and make sure every title holder as unique and different as we all are have a platform and a voice and DIGNITY to achieve our goals. We love you, we stand with you, and YOUR legacy is untouchable.”

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Part of Ximena’s statement reads, “I know your integrity, values and effort of so many years of building a brand that you guided with elegance, respect, fair, always attached to legal transparency and order. LOVE YOU FOREVER!” 

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Iris, for her part, says, “If people knew you, they would know how loving, caring you are. They would know your integrity, your intelligence, but most importantly, your honor. You didn’t work for Miss Universe, you lived for Miss Universe.” 

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Lastly, Olivia has expressed disappointment on how a person can easily discredit the hard work and dedication that Paula has put in. As for her, “I will always admire your strength and be inspired by the way you use your voice. 

“Grateful that you are speaking out to protect your reputation, but also to protect all the winners during your tenure that fought so hard to earn their title.” 

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READ ALSO: Rhian Ramos, Kylie Padilla Express Distaste Over Alleged Disrespect Of Miss Universe Owner To Michelle Dee

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