Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Joana Mihajlovska, Agency: Newsflash
Several former Mexican beauty queens have joined forces to expose the alleged mistreatment by Lupita Jones, president of the Mexicana Universal national beauty pageant.
Last year’s Mexicana Universal winner, 26-year-old Sofia Aragon, published a video on Instagram earlier this month where she levelled a number of accusations against pageant president Jones, 53.
Aragon claimed that she made the young woman pay her for all her own expenses, which decimated her savings, and that she even denied her visits to her gynaecologist even though she suffers from endometriosis.
Luz Elena Gonzalez, 46, came third in the 1994 edition of Nuestra Belleza Mexico and is the latest to speak out about her mistreatment at the hands of the 53-year-old former beauty queen, who was crowned Miss Universe 1991.
Gonzalez revealed in a televised interview that following the 1994 beauty pageant, she was welcomed by Jones in Mexico City from her native Guadalajara and was housed in an apartment belonging to Jones’ former sister-in-law for two months.
She said: “When I got there the rules were very clear, the sister-in-law’s room was always locked, my parents could only talk to me on the phone at night or very early in the morning. I couldn’t touch anything in the refrigerator that wasn’t mine, I had to buy it.”
She revealed that the rules were so strict that she was not even allowed to drink a glass of water and that the host was so stingy that she had to buy her own mat to sleep on.
Gonzalez revealed that she began to get depressed after just one week so she moved in with her boyfriend Roy at his family home where she “was allowed to have breakfast, lunch and dinner”.
Other former Mexican beauty queens, such as Daniela Leal, Elena Lizarraga, Cynthia de la Vega, and Nebai Torres, have also spoken out about their mistreatment at the hands of Jones, claiming she would pressure them about their weight, intimidate them, and abuse them emotionally and psychologically.
Jocelyn Graniglia, who represented Mexico at Miss Universe in 2014, also criticised the pageant president, claiming she forced her to work on the same day her grandmother passed away.
The innumerable accusations against Jones have sparked the Twitter hashtag #LaVerdad (The Truth), in the style of the #MeToo movement of 2017.
Jones has since apologised to Aragon, but is yet to respond to Gonzalez and the numerous other women she allegedly abused.
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