Miss Universe Olivia Culpo and the Miss Universe organization are under scrutiny by Indian authorities for a recent photoshoot at the Taj Mahal that may have violated a law.
Culpo, a former Boston University student, is being threatened by local groups with a complaint because of the shoot, which they believe included a form of advertising.
On Sunday, Culpo posed for a shoot in front of the Taj Mahal during which she displayed shoes. That was possibly in violation of a lawthat prohibits publicity or branding at the monument, according to the Hindustan Times.
Since the controversy erupted, the Miss Universe organization issued an apology.
“The Miss Universe Organization would like to extend its deepest apologies to the people of India for the incident involving reigning Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo, which occurred at the Taj Mahal this past Sunday. Throughout her reign, the Miss Universe Organization continually creates video diaries of our titleholder to keep fans and sponsors up to date on her travels and to share in the experience. As part of these videos, we sometimes incorporate sponsors into these shoots. The filming that took place outside the Taj Mahal was never intended to be used as a commercial nor was it meant in any way to be disrespectful. We sincerely apologize for any unintentional harm our indiscretion and insensitivity may have caused.”
Culpo was Miss Rhode Island and Miss USA before winning the Miss Universe title last year.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.