Dayana Mendoza of 'Celebrity Apprentice' 2012: Boyfriend, Scandals, and Kidnapping

 @sara_dover
on January 09 2012 12:34 PM
Dayana Mendoza, "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant
Mendoza, a former Miss Universe, will be competing on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" on behalf of the Latino Commission on AIDS. Reuters

Dayana Mendoza is one of the hottest new contestants on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice this upcoming season. The former Miss Venezuela 2007 and Miss Universe 2008 will be taking on other familiar faces in the business world to win money on behalf of her charity of choice, the Latino Commission on AIDS. But the model is more than just a pretty face - born in Caracas, Venezuela, Mendoza had an interesting past that will may or may not come up during the reality television show airing Febuary 12.

Nude Photo Scandal - 'Artistic' Pictures

Racy photos of beauty queens emerge so often, it's as if it has become a routine part of the competition. But Mendoza's nude photo scandal is a little less scandalous. Just before she relinquished her crown in August 2009, the then 23-year-old model posed topless for Maxim magazine. Instead of denouncing the pics like they had for Carrie Prejean, Katie Rees and other beauty queens, the Miss Universe Organization released the photos themselves.

The images are nothing salacious, the organization's president, Paula Shugart, told the Today Show. They're just beautiful.

Pageant officials pointed out that the photos were for Maxim - a men's magazine, although not nearly in the same category as Playboy or Penthouse -- and she strategically covers herself with her arms.

It was a similar situation with an ad for a jewelry line she shot at the shockingly young age of 15. Shortly after Mendoza was crowned with the sparkling Miss Universe tiara, pageant officials scrambled to defend the series of photos in which she appears nearly nude. They are artistic in nature and don't have an ounce of pornographic content to them, Shugart said.

Love Life's a Mystery

It's not surprising that Dayana Mendoza boyfriend is a popular search term in Google. The beautiful Venezuelan has been pictured with a Venezuelan boyfriend in 2008 when she earned her Miss Universe Crown. But in a 2009 interview with Spanish-language television  show Al Rojo Vivo, Mendoza confessed she was single. As for her status during the Celebrity Apprentice - it's still a mystery, for now.

Kidnapping

It's something that happens in Venezuela if you're out after 8 p.m. Mendoza once told radio host Howard Stern. Mendoza has been open about time she was kidnapped in her homeland of Venezuela at age 19, a traumatic experience she said taught her to remain poised under pressure, according to GMA News.

But at the end of the night, she endied up costing the kidnappers money. Because she didn't come from a wealthy family, the kidnappers took the $5 in her pocket, dropped her off in the middle of the highway, and then gave her $10 for a cab ride home because the area was dangerous, she told Howard Stern.

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