Beauty Pageant Officials Probe Pepper Spray on Contestant's Gowns
Some of these pageant contestants are ruthless, with a smile on their faces.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Beauty pageant organizers were investigating Sunday who doused a contestant's evening gowns with pepper spray and spiked her makeup, causing her to break out in hives.
Beauty queen Ingrid Marie Rivera beat 29 rivals to become the island's 2008 Miss Universe contestant, despite applying makeup and wearing evening gowns that had been coated with pepper spray, pageant spokesman Harold Rosario said.
Rivera was composed while appearing before cameras and judges throughout the competition. But once backstage, she had to strip off her clothes and apply ice bags to her face and body, which swelled and broke out in hives twice.
"We thought at first it was an allergic reaction, or maybe nerves," Rosario said. "But the second time, we knew it couldn't have been a coincidence."
Rivera's clothing and makeup later tested positive for pepper spray.
Someone also stole Rivera's bag containing her gowns, makeup and credit cards. And a bomb threat forced pageant officials to postpone the last day of competition on Thursday, said Magali Febles, director of the Miss Puerto Rico Universe pageant.