Published April 11, 2016
The newly crowned Miss USA, Rima Fakih, explained on Fox & Friends Thursday why she was photographed on a stripper pole in 2007.
The photos were released by the Detroit morning radio show "Mojo in the Morning" less than 24 hours after Fakih beat out Miss Oklahoma, who lost the title after answering a question about illegal immigration.
"It wasn't pole dancing," Fakih said of the photos. "It was more of a ... promotional event."
"Have you ever done those pole dancing classes?" she asked the show's hosts. "That's what it was. My friend who was a DJ at the station said 'Why don't you get up there?'"
Fakih, 23, said she complied, "and a few pictures were snapped, and, of course, they don't look the best angle as I normally [do]."
When asked how she would have answered the question posed to Miss Oklahoma, Morgan Woolard, on illegal immigration, Fakih said she would have taken a "neutral" stance, "being from a family that are immigrants to this country."
Woolard said on the live Miss USA telecast that she thought Arizona had the right to enact a law that allowed police to ask people who they suspected to be illegal immigrants to produce proof of citizenship.
Fakih, who was born in Lebanon and immigrated when she was seven, also said she hoped her background would help her in the Miss Universe contest in August, where she will be representing the United States.
"I think [the U.S.] have the ethnic background this time [to get to the finals]," she said.
Miss USA contestants have not traditionally fared well in the international pageant.