Miss Mexico Andrea Meza (L) and Miss Brazil Julia Gama (R) wait to hear who will be crowned Miss Universe 2021 in Hollywood, Florida
Miss Mexico Andrea Meza (L) and Miss Brazil Julia Gama (R) wait to hear who will be crowned Miss Universe 2021 in Hollywood, Florida GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Rodrigo Varela


  • CEO Amy Emmerich said a top accounting firm in the U.S. "handled" the pageant results
  • JKN Global Group chief Anne Jakrajutatip was accused of "rigging" the results
  • JKN Global Group owns the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants

The Miss Universe Organization denied "rigging" allegations made against them, claiming that the beauty pageant's results were "handled and verified" by a third-party accounting firm in the United States.

The 71st Miss Universe ended with doubt over Miss USA R'Bonney Gabriel's win after social media users pointed out an evident conflict of interest since the Thai multinational conglomerate JKN Global Group, including its chief Anne Jakrajutatip, has control over the Miss Universe Organization and Miss USA and the fact that the international beauty pageant was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, according to TMZ.

However, the organization's CEO, Amy Emmerich, addressed the issue Monday, telling the outlet, "One of the top four accounting firms in the United States handled the results and verified the process."

"The allegations re: rigging of Miss Universe are false. People saying that it's 'suspect' that JKN Global Group owns both Miss Universe and Miss USA aren't familiar with the history of the organizations," Emmerich added.

Before JKN Global Group acquired the rights to the organization for a $20 million contract last October, Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA had already been under the same ownership when IMG bought the three pageants in 2015 after NBC dropped them due to Donald Trump's controversial remarks while campaigning for his presidential seat.

Emmerich also revealed to TMZ that an independent third-party law firm was hired to investigate the allegations surrounding the Miss USA pageant last year, which was also accused of being rigged.

After the 28-year-old former representative of Texas was crowned as the winner, several contestants have been claiming that the pageant was rigged and that there was an alleged favoritism toward Gabriel, CNN reported.

Miss Montana USA Heather Lee O'Keefe voiced her opinion on the matter, alleging in a TikTok video that the "drama" started when a huge pageant sponsor posted a video "immediately" after Gabriel won, showing the latter spending a luxury vacation, which was "supposed" to be part of the Miss USA prize package.

"I want to make it clear, we are not trying to bully R'Bonney, and please do not send her any hate. Don't harass her, none of that," the Miss Montana representative said in the later part of the video.

She continued, "We really can't blame this girl, and it's really sad because her performance was amazing, and she probably could have won fair and square. The issue is not with Miss Texas or R'Bonney winning. The issue is with the alleged corruption of the Miss USA organization."

O'Keefe has since gone private on the platform, but TikTok user @ruanyuencruz was able to re-post the video of the contestant making the "rigged" claims.

@ruanyuencruz Miss USA 2022 Scandals Exposed by Miss Montana, Heather Lee O'Keefe. Your thoughts? #missusa #missusa2022 #scandal #yourthoughts #beautypageant #missuniverse #misstexas #missmontana #fyp ♬ original sound - Ruan Yuen Zurc

In an interview with E! News, Gabriel clarified that the luxurious spa had already been a sponsor of Miss Texas USA. After getting crowned at the event, she visited the spa and shot a video there at her own expense.

"I would never enter any pageant or any competition that I know I would win," she told E! News' "The Rundown" host Rin Lim Rhodes. "I have a lot of integrity."

Gabriel took home the Miss Universe crown Saturday, becoming the first Filipino-American in history to win the pageant. Emmerich praised the USA representative for being a "strong and dedicated" contestant and said she was the "rightful Miss Universe."

Meanwhile, the Miss Universe Organization said that they would not condone the "rigging allegations," claiming that it was "false" and a distraction "from the incredible milestones our organization and the delegates experienced this weekend."

Miss Universe crown
Pearl and diamonds decorated Miss Universe 2005 crown, worth 250,000 USD, put on display by Japan's leading pearl company Mikimoto at a press conference in Bangkok, 17 May 2005. The Tiara is decorated with 800 round brilliant cut diamonds weighing a total of 18 carats, as well as 120 pearls. The reigning Miss Universe, Jennifer Hawkins of Australia, will crown her successor in Bangkok before thousands of journalists and spectators on May 31. SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images