Miss Puerto Rico Shares Story of Apparent Sabotage at Pageant

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 27, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "personal story" segment tonight, last Friday, Ingrid Marie Rivera won the Miss Puerto Rico beauty contest, but not before a major controversy. Miss Rivera believes somebody sabotaged her clothing and makeup, which have now been turned over to the police. She joins us now.

What happened to you physically? I mean, what — why were you suspicious to begin with?

INGRID MARIE RIVERA, MISS PUERTO RICO: Immediately, I had my makeup brush on my face and my chest , because I have this strapless evening gown.

O'REILLY: Right.

RIVERA: My skin began to become irritated. I had like a rash reaction. Reddish. It became swollen and also the feeling I got in my skin like — was like burning.

O'REILLY: All right. So the makeup artist puts this stuff on you. And almost immediately, you start...

RIVERA: No — my makeup artist, you have like a timeline...

O'REILLY: Right.

RIVERA: ...for them to go in and to do the makeup and hair. And then they leave the dressing rooms. And the show begins. We did the opening, then the bathing suit competition. Then when I was going back to the dressing room to change for my evening gown, it's when then I retouched my makeup when I used my makeup brush.

O'REILLY: You retouched it yourself.


O'REILLY: And that's when it happened.

RIVERA: Myself. That's when it happened.

O'REILLY: OK now, so you feel - and this is during the show. Right?


O'REILLY: This is the whole thing is during the show. Now are you panicked? What do you do?

RIVERA: I was shocked, because it was almost immediately the reaction I had, that's the skin. In the skin, it was like 30 seconds after I applied the brush. So I tried to remain calm. One of the supervisors came over to me to help me with the sash and the dress. And I told her to watch out. And she say why, I'm just helping you to put the sash on. I told her I think I had like an allergic reaction or something — to a chemical.

O'REILLY: So you didn't — at first you thought it was an allergic reaction and not a sabotage situation?

RIVERA: No. I knew something was wrong, because...

O'REILLY: But you didn't know what it was.

RIVERA: Exactly.

O'REILLY: So how did this pepper spray thing get involved?

RIVERA: When I left the dressing room, that I told a supervisor not to tell anything because I wanted to stay focused on — on the competition. I told her I will line up because the show must go one like one says.

O'REILLY: Yes, all right.

RIVERA: It was a live show.

O'REILLY: Right.

RIVERA: And I was going to be evaluated for my evening gown just then. So I couldn't do anything at the moment. So I just lined up. And the girl just in front of me asked me like, Ingrid, I like your dress. But what happened? Did you scratch yourself? You're swollen, you're reddish.

O'REILLY: So she noticed it.

RIVERA: She noticed it. And at the same time, the security from the organization was passing by just acknowledging that all the girls were in line, ready to go out on stage again for the evening gown evaluation.

So it was the same woman, she was asking me, like how was I feeling, what had happened to my chest. And she also mentioned like you don't have that much makeup, you're but swollen. And he turned his way over to me and he asked me if everything is OK. And then he pulled me apart in a moment and I had to tell him.

O'REILLY: That something was wrong?


O'REILLY: But you didn't say pepper spray. Did you?

RIVERA: He's the one, because...

O'REILLY: He's the guy.

RIVERA: Yes, he's the supervisor. He's the professional in security.

O'REILLY: All right, now we only have 90 seconds here.

RIVERA: He suggested that.

O'REILLY: You've been — some people have said this is a fake.


O'REILLY: And you say what?

RIVERA: It's not. I wouldn't sabotage myself or...

O'REILLY: For attention, worldwide attention?

RIVERA: No, I...I didn't even know...

O'REILLY: All right, so you say it's not a fake. The cops are going to get to the bottom of it. They have your gown.

RIVERA: Exactly. They have my gown...

O'REILLY: I mean, they can see.

RIVERA: ...my bathing suit and my brush.

O'REILLY: Now there's also...

RIVERA: And videotapes.

O'REILLY: ...from Puerto Rico, you were a judge last year.

RIVERA: Yes, I was.

O'REILLY: So that maybe you made some enemies as a judge. Is that possible?

RIVERA: No, because people that were judging that night were totally different people. That was...

O'REILLY: Right, so there's no...

RIVERA: So there's no relation.

O'REILLY: But somebody would have had to have done this to you. Any suspects?

RIVERA: I don't have a clue. That's why we've got videos from the (INAUDIBLE), which is the place I was — activity held on. And also the investigations for — to see...

O'REILLY: So there's nobody that hated you and wanted to knock you out of there?

RIVERA: No. I never received any threats directly or indirectly.

O'REILLY: Well, the cops say that they'll have the results in about a week or so. And we'll find out. And we're glad you won. And the Miss Universe pageant is in Vietnam next summer, right?

RIVERA: Yes. I'm looking forward to it.

O'REILLY: Well, hopefully, it'll be calmer than this was, Ingrid.

RIVERA: Yes, I know, it will be.

O'REILLY: Thank you for coming in.

RIVERA: It will. Thank you.

O'REILLY: We appreciate it. Nice to see you.

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