The Miss Universe Drama Between Anne Jakrajutatip and Paula Shugart (2024)


The Miss Universe pageant is no stranger to controversies, but the latest one involves not the contestants, but the owners of the organization. The Thai billionaire who bought the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) in 2022, Anne Jakrajutatip and Paula Shugart, the former president of MUO who resigned in 2023, have been engaged in a public spat over social media, accusing each other of corruption, defamation, and legal threats. Let’s look into the details of controversy between Anne Jakrajutatip and Paula Shugart.

What sparked the feud Between Anne Jakrajutatip and Paula Shugart?

The feud started when Anne Jakrajutatip posted a series of Instagram stories on February 18, 2024, claiming that Paula Shugart had taken money “under the table” to secure placements for certain candidates in the Miss Universe competitions. She also alleged that Paula Shugart had manipulated the results of the pageant, and that some of the past winners had paid for their crowns.

Anne Jakrajutatip did not name any specific countries or candidates, but she hinted that some of them were from Asia and Latin America. She also said that she had evidence to back up her claims, and that she was ready to expose the truth to the public.

How did Paula Shugart respond?

Paula Shugart, who had been silent since her resignation in November 2023, broke her silence on February 19, 2024, by posting a statement on her own Instagram account. She denied Anne’s allegations, calling them “false and outrageous” and “dangerous and reckless”. She said that Anne was defaming her and discrediting the women who had won the Miss Universe crown by merit.

Paula Shugart also mentioned that she was thinking about suing Anne in Thailand. She stated that her complaint would be just one of several legal actions happening against the owner of JKN, Anne’s media company. She said that she had tried to stay out of the spotlight and help the Miss Universe brand and its stakeholders with her historical knowledge and guidance, but she felt compelled to speak the truth and condemn Anne’s words.

Paula Shugart ended her statement by saying that she was not interested in engaging in drama on social media, and that she would let her years of work with some truly incredible women speak for itself.

What are the reactions of the fans and the pageant community?

The feud between Anne Jakrajutatip and Paula Shugart has divided the fans and the pageant community, with some siding with Anne and others with Paula Shugart. Some fans have expressed their disappointment and disgust with the allegations, saying that they tarnish the reputation and integrity of the Miss Universe pageant and its winners. Others have expressed their curiosity and skepticism, saying that they want to see the evidence and the facts before making any judgments.

Some former and current Miss Universe titleholders have also weighed in on the issue, either directly or indirectly. For instance, Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018 from the Philippines, posted a cryptic message on her Instagram story, saying “The truth always prevails” with a crown emoji. Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2019 from South Africa, posted a photo of herself with Paula Shugart, saying “Thank you for everything you have done for me and for women all over the world”. Andrea Meza, Miss Universe 2020 from Mexico, posted a video of herself with Anne, saying “Thank you for believing in me and for your support”.

What are the implications of the feud for the future of the Miss Universe pageant?

The feud between Anne Jakrajutatip and Paula Shugart has raised questions and concerns about the future of the Miss Universe pageant, especially in light of the recent changes and challenges that the organization has faced. Since Anne took over the MUO in 2022, she has introduced several reforms and innovations, such as removing the age limit, allowing transgender women to compete, and holding three editions of the pageant in one year. She has also faced some financial and legal troubles, such as filing for debt rescue and being sued by former business partners and employees.

Some fans and observers have praised Anne Jakrajutatip for her vision and courage, saying that she is bringing the Miss Universe pageant to a new level of inclusivity, diversity, and modernity. Others have criticized Anne Jakrajutatip for her decisions and actions, saying that she is ruining the Miss Universe pageant with her personal agenda, ego, and scandals.

The feud with Paula Shugart adds another layer of complexity and uncertainty to the situation, as it could potentially affect the credibility, stability, and popularity of the Miss Universe pageant and its stakeholders. It could also have legal and financial implications for both Anne Jakrajutatip and Paula Shugart, as well as for the countries and candidates involved.

Read about “Paula Shugart (President of Miss Universe Org. 1997-2023) : The Visionary Leader Behind Miss Universe’s Transformation“.

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