BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — The reigning Miss Universe has refused to relinquish her crown despite a tide of condemnation following pageant owner Donald Trump's remarks on Mexican immigrants.
Paulina Vega on Monday said she would continue doing the organization's social work and dismissed Trump's accusation that she is a hypocrite for condemning his recent comments but declining to step down as Miss Universe.
"The fact that I am not giving up my crown doesn't mean that I am changing my stance about everything I said," the Colombian beauty said in her native country during an interview with radio station La W. "It doesn't make any sense that Donald Trump calls me a hypocrite because I'm not giving up my crown."
In his June presidential campaign announcement, Trump said that some Mexican immigrants to the U.S. bring drugs and crime, and some are rapists.
On Sunday, a few days after Vega called his remarks "unjust and hurtful," Trump tweeted: "Miss Universe, Paulina Vega, criticized me for telling the truth about illegal immigration, but then said she would keep the crown — Hypocrite."
"As a Colombian and as Miss Universe, I want to show my support and validate the sentiments of the Latin community," Vega had said on her Instagram account last week.
Vega, 22, won the 2014 Miss Universe pageant last January in Miami.
Pressure on her to quit has increased over the past several days, with Colombia retiring its bid to host the event and Mexico announcing that it won't be sending any candidate to the competition.
Univision also cut its ties with Trump and all of his enterprises, and Colombian superstar Shakira, in reference to the tycoon's comments, tweeted that "no one living in this century should stand behind so much ignorance."
Vega, born in Barranquilla, stressed to the radio station that the Miss Universe pageant existed long before Trump acquired it and that "it will continue to exist if he stops being its owner someday."
"I have kept doing my job as Miss Universe all these days. The work continues as always despite all this craziness going on," she said.