Miss USA Nia Sanchez Controversy: Miss Nevada Slams Allegations That She Switched States Before Being Crowned
Forget the pageant's interview portion! Newly crowned Miss USA Nia Sanchez is feeling the heat now more than ever amid allegations that she's not actually connected to her home state of Nevada. A source told Fox411 the 24-year-old martial artist is allegedly not from the state, which she represented at the 63rd annual Miss USA pageant in Baton Rouge, LA, on June 9.
"She never actually moved to Nevada, but continued to work at Disney and live in California, setting up some minimum paper trail to appear like she was in Nevada and allow her to compete," a source told the news site. "Shanna Moakler is the Nevada director, and she personally coached Nia on what she needed to do to qualify in Nevada and skirt around the need to be actually from there." Fox411 also claims that Sanchez competed for the Miss California crown in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Sanchez, for her part, isn't sitting quietly. In a one-on-one interview, she responded to Fox411's report, saying there's "no truth" to the allegations.
"[Las Vegas] is my home. I have a house there with a friend," she explained on Thursday. "I actually had an agent that was working [with me] in Nevada a lot so I figured why not work in that state, and then I looked into the pageant program because I had done pageants before."
"I really liked the way that it was run, the director that ran it," she continued. "It seemed like a really healthy, well-run state program. So I decided to go there since I was living there anyway."
Contestants in the pageant are asked to submit two documents that prove that they have been living in the state they are representing for at least six months before taking the stage at the live show. Sanchez said she did just that.