Poonam Singh

Priyanka Chopra won the coveted Miss World pageant title in 2000, and went on to become a global icon with many hats. She is now a successful star, producer, and entrepreneur, UNICEF ambassador along with a dutiful daughter, loving wife, and a mother.

However, now, 22 years after her win, one of her co-competitors has claimed that the beauty pageant was rigged in her favour. 

Former Miss Barbados 2000, Leilani McConney, has alleged that Priyanka’s win in the Miss World pageant in 2000 was ‘rigged’ and that it was a result of undue favouritism. 

Leilani shared her claims on her YouTube channel while speaking on the ongoing scandal involving Miss Texas R'Bonney Gabriel's victory at the Miss USA pageant.

Leilani believes Miss Texas won unfairly due to bias from sponsors and organisers, and went on to share her own similar experience from her Miss World days. 

"I literally went through the same thing at Miss World." the Former Miss Barbados said. She recounted her Miss World Days. "I was Miss Barbados and I went to Miss World, and the year I went, Miss India won," added Leilani.

She further said, "Mind you, Miss India had won the previous year. The sponsor was also Zee TV, an Indian cable station. They sponsored the entire Miss World. Our sashes had Zee TV, and then our country."

Leilani then went on to explain the alleged favouritism of organisers towards Priyanka and stated how an exception was made for her in Swimsuit Competition. 

"Priyanka Chopra was the only person who was allowed to keep her sarong on. Apparently, she was using some skin tone cream to even out her skin tone, and it was still splotchy. I'm not saying that it was a bleaching cream, it was a skin-tone cream. And it didn’t work, so she didn't want to remove her sarong. So, during the actual judgement, she's literally in a dress," she said.

Leilani alleged that Priyanka Chopra had numerous photo shoots by the beach even before she won the contest and that the organisation's bias extended to everything. 

She even claimed Priyanka was served meals in her room and allowed to give solo interviews while the others were ‘all grouped together in the sandpit.’