Miss Universe Olivia Culpo feels 'terrible' about Taj Mahal incident

Oct. 13, 2013 at 1:17 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Miss Universe Olivia Culpo she didn't mean to be disrespectful when fashion photos were taken of her in front of India's sacred Taj Mahal.

Police in India are investigating Culpo for allegedly violating the country's Heritage Act when she posed wearing 5-inch heels in front of the mausoleum in Agra Oct. 6.

Culpo told The Providence (R.I.) Journal she was directed to pose in front of the building by the Miss Universe Organization for an advertisement for Indian-born fashion designer Sanjana Jon.

"The Miss Universe Organization has sponsors that they have obligations to take pictures as we travel or basically create a Web diary of our travels," Culpo said. "I was given the direction to pose with the shoes. And honestly, 5-inch heels on a 10-inch bench in 90-degree weather -- you know, I didn't want to do it. Honestly, I did at one point say out loud, 'Isn't this a little inappropriate?' but I have to do what I'm told. This is my job."

Culpo said she felt "terrible" about the investigation and the fact that she may have offended the country's citizens on her 10-day visit.

"I really enjoyed everything about the visit, and there's so much that I wanted to go back and do. ... It's just kind of a shame. I hope this can be resolved in a way that would at least let me go back to the country, because who knows now [if she will be able to return]," she said.

"This situation has taught me that if I don't feel comfortable doing something, no matter what the situation is, I have to put my foot down, because that was really the lesson learned here."

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