Miss USA Cheslie Kryst Working to Free Inmates ... With Kim K's Lawyer

EXCLUSIVE
PROUD TO DO THE WORK
TMZ.com

Miss USA Cheslie Kryst is hard at work on a project that goes well beyond your typical beauty pageant agenda -- and it has her crossing paths with Kim Kardashian.

The new Miss USA was on "TMZ Live" Monday and told us she's working to free an inmate who's serving a life sentence for a low-level drug charge. She's working closely with Brittany K. Barnett -- the lawyer who just secured another prisoner's release ... with Kim's funding.

Cheslie, an attorney herself, tells us she and Brittany hope to do the same for someone in her home state of North Carolina by the end of this month.

As we reported ... Kim and Brittany just helped free Jeffrey Stringer, who served 22 years of a life sentence in Florida. Kim posted a celebratory shot of his family ahead of Stringer's release.

Now, Cheslie's hoping she can accomplish a similar mission close to home.

Kim's got a pretty amazing track record when it comes to this sort of thing ... helping Tennessee inmate Cyntoia Brown secure clemency, playing a key role in freeing Matthew Charles and Alice Marie Johnson, and taking her cause to the White House for a meeting with President Trump ... accomplishments Cheslie says should be celebrated.

Former Miss USA Malibu Fire Didn't Stop Our Wedding!!!

Former Miss USA Tara Conner had no idea the ravaging Malibu fire would turn her into a hell of a wedding planner ... 'cause the natural disaster forced her to plan it again from scratch with only 24 hours to spare.

We're told Tara and Eli James got married on November 11 ... just 3 days after the Woolsey fire barreled down the hills and scorched nearly 100k acres, destroyed more than 1,500 structures and displaced nearly 300k people.

Tara and Eli were supposed to get married in Malibu that weekend but with mandatory evacuations in order, the fire literally growing by the minute and threatening their venue ... Tara says they abandoned EVERYTHING that was prearranged for the shindig, and came up with a whole new setup in Burbank ... at the home of her maid of honor's mother.

Tara -- crowned Miss USA in 2006 -- put family members on flower detail while a friend built an altar in the living room. Tara's father, John, gave her away and her sober mentor, Eric Proctor, officiated the ceremony. 50 guests cheered her and the groom on.

Tara tells TMZ ... "This experience proved that everything works out, no matter what, and has taught me to look for those blessings in disguise. It was perfect."

Congrats!!!

Miss USA Kisses And Makes Up WIth Miss Vietnam ... After Mocking Her For Not Speaking English

Reigning Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers appears to be making good on her promise to smooth things over with a couple competitors she openly mocked for not speaking her tongue.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Miss Australia Francesca Hung just posted an Instagram picture with a bunch of Miss Universe contestants ... and as you can see, Sarah is getting a big smooch from Vietnam's H'Hen Nie.

Sarah's got Miss Cambodia Rern Sinat on her other side, meaning she's flanked by the two women she ridiculed for not speaking English.

INSENSITIVE COMMENTS

Controversy started brewing even before the Miss Universe pageant officially began ... when Sarah, Miss Colombia Valeria Morales and Francesca went on social media and started gossiping about other contestants.

Sarah directed xenophobic insults at the contestants from Vietnam and Cambodia ... all because they weren't speaking English.

Facing mounting backlash, Sarah apologized for the nasty comments and promised to apologize in person to her targets. It appears she's done so, and hopefully it's all water under the bridge.

Miss USA Apologizes After Mocking Miss Vietnam ... For Not Speaking English

Exclusive Details
INSENSITIVE COMMENTS

9:45 AM -- Sarah has issued an apology on her Instagram ... she says, "In a moment where I intended to admire the courage of a few of my sisters, I said something that I now realize can be perceived as not respectful, and I apologize."

Sarah also says she would be "grateful" for an opportunity to discuss the matter with Miss Cambodia and Miss Vietnam.

8:02 AM -- We just spoke to Summers' mom, Desiree, and she tells TMZ ... her daughter's comments were taken out of context. She says, "She in no way meant any harm. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body." As for imitating Miss Vietnam, Desiree says, "[Summers] was just recreating how Miss Vietnam acts when she doesn’t understand what someone is saying. She wasn’t trying to mock her."

Reigning Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers is going full "Mean Girls" at the Miss Universe competition by openly mocking Miss Vietnam for not speaking English.

The pageant competition goes down in Thailand in a few days -- but Sarah, Miss Colombia Valeria Morales and Miss Australia Francesca Hung decided to go on social media to gossip about other contestants. Watch ... Sarah took a nasty, xenophobic cheap shot at Vietnam's H'Hen Nie.

She wasn't done there ... in another clip, she takes aim at Miss Cambodia, Rern Sinat, for not speaking English. Granted, Sarah sounded a little more sympathetic, saying ... "Can you imagine? Francesca said that would be so isolating, and I said, yes and just confusing all the time."

Still, she clearly thinks everyone should be speaking her tongue.

The backlash was immediate -- and in English -- with one person commenting, "The future Miss Universe should not be an ambassador of bullying." Another said it's a "shameful display of meanness poorly masked as empathy."

And, ya gotta love this irony from Sarah's IG profile -- #ifyoudonthaveanythingnicetosaydontsayanythingatall

Well, she said ONE thing right.

Originally Published 7:25 AM PT

Miss Universe 1995 Dead at 45

Breaking News

Chelsi Smith -- who took the crown of Miss USA in 1995 -- and went on to win Miss Universe has died.

Shanna Moakler -- who was runner up to Smith in the 1995 Miss USA Pageant -- shared a tribute to the beauty queen after learning of her death, "I am heartbroken. Godspeed beautiful. You were my friend and a light. I love and will miss you more then you will ever know. The epitome of a Queen."

Reports say Smith fought a battle with liver cancer before passing away.

Smith competed in her first pageant -- Miss Texas in 1994 -- and became the first biracial woman to win the pageant.

In 1995, Smith traveled to Namibia to compete in the Miss Universe Pageant where she won the crown, becoming the first woman from the United States to do so in 15 years.

Smith was 45.

RIP

Former Miss USA Scores Yellow Sapphire Engagement Ring

EXCLUSIVE

Former troubled Miss USA Tara Conner is adding more bling to her tiara collection ... she's got herself a sparkly new engagement ring.

We're told the lucky guy is writer and acting coach Dan Sanders-Joyce. Dan popped the question over 4th of July weekend while they were vacationing in Hawaii.

Tara is most infamously known as the Miss USA who got to keep her crown despite testing positive for cocaine 8 months into her reign. She's been sober for a decade.

As for the ring ... it's a 4.83 carat yellow sapphire from INTA Gems & Diamonds. We're told Dan chose yellow since they bonded over their struggles to recovery and the $50k stunner is suppose to symbolize their brightest days together.

Mazel.

'Mentalist' Star Robin Tunney Shades Miss USA ... What Do Pageant Chicks Know About Healthcare??

EXCLUSIVE
STAY IN YOUR LANE
TMZ.com

Robin Tunney's advice to Miss USA, in the wake of her controversial healthcare stance, is pretty simple ... stay in your lane, princess.

"The Mentalist" star was at E Baldi Tuesday in Bev Hills when we asked her about Kara McCullough saying healthcare is a privilege, not a right. Although Kara later softened her answer ... Robin thinks it would be best if she avoided talking about the healthcare issue altogether.

In not so many words, Robin told us Kara just isn't qualified to tackle such a hot button issue. The shade got even shadier when she said there's only one way for a Miss USA to have a lasting impact.

GET A JOB
FOX

Miss USA Boo'd for Healthcare Answer ... Still Takes the Crown

GET A JOB
FOX

The new Miss USA says healthcare for all Americans is a privilege and not a right -- and that belief earned her a ton of boos at the pageant, and on the Internet ... but didn't stop her from winning.

Kara McCullough, Miss District of Columbia, didn't hesitate during the interview segment of the pageant Sunday night. She's a scientist at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and said she's learned you gotta have a job to have healthcare.

There were cheers and jeers ... but mostly just jeers on social media. As one viewer put it ... "Miss DC just lost me with that answer. Girl bye"

The judges clearly disagreed.

THE NEXT MISS USA
FOX

Ex-Miss USA Busted for 5 Finger Discount at LAX

EXCLUSIVE

12:25 PM PT -- A spokesperson for Lu's station, KTLA, tells us the arrest is a misunderstanding -- she noticed the earbuds were left behind, and picked them up, "intending to return them to the owner whom she had been speaking with while in line to clear TSA."

The spokesperson says when Lu was unable to locate the owner, she boarded her flight -- but she is fully cooperating with authorities.

Former Miss USA Lu Parker is under arrest for pilfering a pair of high-end headphones at LAX ... TMZ has learned.

The 1994 pageant winner, and current news anchor in L.A., allegedly lifted the headphones Wednesday morning at the TSA screening area in Terminal 6. Law enforcement sources tell us she walked to her gate and boarded her flight.

We're told cops saw Lu take the audio gear on CCTV cams, and tracked her down on the plane before it left. Officers hauled her off the jet and took her into custody. The headphones are worth $200, so she's looking at a misdemeanor theft.

Really bad luck for Parker -- we're told the owner of the headphones is an LAPD Robbery Homicide detective.

Parker famously dated former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa several years ago, but they've broken up.

Donald Trump He Was Never Vulgar with Me ... Says Ex-Beauty Queen

EXCLUSIVE
NO PROBLEMS HERE!
TMZ.com

Former Miss Teen USA Katie Blair says Donald Trump is far from the sleazy guy he's being made out to be ... based on her experiences with him on TV shows and pageants.

Katie was Miss Teen USA '06 and Miss CA USA '11 ... and Trump owned both pageants at the time. We talked to her about her interactions with the boss, and while she admits there were plenty of situations for him to leer ... she insists it NEVER happened.

Katie says anyone who's had any experience with live TV would know there's an obvious reason why Trump couldn't have done many of the things some other pageant contestants have accused him of doing.

Check out her take on Trump -- who stood by her during her scandal with former Miss USA Tara Conner. Katie's clearly got his back when it comes to his ethics.

As for whether he's got her vote? Katie's made her decision, though it's hardly a ringing endorsement.

Miss Teen USA Pageant Mom I Demand a Do-Over It Was Just TOO White

EXCLUSIVE

The Miss Teen USA needs to reassemble all the contestants and redo this year's entire pageant -- but this time with more women of color onstage and at the judges' table ... according to Miss Alaska's mom.

Ifeoma Isolokwu's daughter, Nneamaka, was one of very few African-American contestants, and Mom's not just upset Nneamaka didn't win -- she thinks it's a disgrace there was only one minority in the top 15, period. Not to mention the now infamous blonde brigade in the top 5.

Ifeoma says the only fair thing would be to hold the competition again with a more diverse judging panel. On Saturday night, 4 were white and one was Latina.

However, Sheila Wakeman -- mom to Miss North Carolina Emily Wakeman -- thinks the lack of diversity claims don't hold up. She believes the top 5 all made it on merit. Keep in mind, her daughter was 1st runner-up.

Miss Teen USA has already said it stands by Saturday's results, and Karlie Hay will remain queen.

Miss Florida USA Pageant Sued You Smeared Me to Strip Me!!!

Breaking News

Genesis Davila -- the former Miss Florida 2017 -- says a pageant organizer royally screwed her out of her crown cause of his disdain for Puerto Ricans and to direct the new winner to one of his business clients ... so she says in a new lawsuit.

According to legal docs obtained by TMZ ... Davila accuses pageant boss Grant Gravitt of overt prejudice against Puerto Ricans and spreading lies to dethrone her -- saying she wasn't born in the U.S. and cheated at the competition by bringing in her own hair and makeup team.

Davila says she enjoyed the title for all of 6 days before a meeting with pageant officials. She says that meeting was supposed to be about proving her citizenship.

Instead ... Davila says it turned into a press conference, where she was told to resign and lie that it was "because her mother was sick in a hospital." The pageant later announced she was stripped of her title and crown.

Davila says Gravitt came up with all kinds of excuses to dethrone her ... just to steer the new winner to one of his clients and major financial sponsors, Pageant Ready.

As for a photo that surfaced showing her getting makeup help ... she says that photo was snapped a week before the pageant and Gravitt purposefully cropped out the time stamp to support his false claim.

Davila is suing for damages in excess of $15 million.

THE TEARFUL STATEMENT
WFOR

Miss Teen USA Pageant Ripped for Being White Chicks 2 ... Winner Liked to Use N-Word

The Miss Teen USA pageant looked like a snowstorm in Las Vegas -- that's how a lot of people saw it due to a severe lack of diversity when Miss Texas Karlie Hay was crowned.

Hay was crowned Saturday night ... and viewers couldn't help but notice the top 5 were ALL blonde haired, blue eyed chicks. To be fair, it wasn't only the top 5 who looked like that.

As Chrissy Teigen put it ... "Wow how can we choose from such a diverse bunch."

To make matters worse -- almost immediately after 18-year-old Hay grabbed her tiara and bouquet, a bunch of tweets from 2013 bit her in the ass. Turns out she liked to use the n-word when referring to her friends.

The racial insensitivity had many people on social media calling for Miss Teen USA to dethrone Hay, but the pageant says it's sticking with her -- and she's sort of apologized, saying she's not proud of the language she used in the past, but says she's a "better person today."

Miss CA's Dad Gerardo Miss USA Judges Not So Suave ... With Hardball Question

EXCLUSIVE

Miss California's famous father -- singer-turned-pageant-dad Gerardo Mejia -- thinks the Miss USA judges gave his little girl the short end of the stick with the hardest question of the night.

Yeah, Gerardo, who you definitely know from the '90s hit "Rico Suave" -- is now the personal valet for his daughter, Nadia ... carrying her luggage, getting her coffee and prepping her for competitions. He tells us he helped her brush up for Sunday's Q&A by covering topics like immigration and Nadia's Latina heritage.

But he thinks the judges unfairly tossed her a major curveball about economic inequality -- and her stumbling response has gone viral. He notes they asked the military woman a military question, and another contestant about who had her vote.

Nadia shook it off and still finished in the top 5 ... so, Gerardo's more proud than pissed. He says she plans to milk her moment for all it's worth. It's worked for others.

And now, because we know you've been humming it in your head ...

Donald Trump Miss Universe Organization ... It's All Mine Now

Breaking News

Donald Trump has settled his legal disputes with NBCUniversal and Univision by using his best resource ... money, money, money.

The Donald just announced he bought out NBC's half share of the Miss Universe Organization ... making him 100% owner.

Trump threatened NBC with a lawsuit after they yanked the Miss USA pageant off the air, following his remarks about Mexicans. Miss USA is a part of the Miss Universe Org. He sued Univision for $500 million, which also pulled the plug on the pageant.

Donald Trump ... now king of the Universe.

Miss USA Vegas Knew She Was A Winner ... Way Before The Rest Of Us

The newly crowned Miss USA, Olivia Jordan, is hot as hell … a not-so-well-hidden secret Vegas discovered when she stripped down to a bikini to win a different title.

Olivia won the Luli Fama Swimwear Model Search at Wynn's Encore Beach Club back in 2014 -- and took home a giant $25k check, and a modeling deal.

Previous winner Nina Agdal was also there ... and posed with Olivia and the runners-up for a smoking hot winners circle shot.

We're guessing they skipped the interview round for the Vegas competition. Hint, hint ... organizers of Miss USA and every other stupid beauty pageant.