"There was drama," a source claimed to Page Six. "Kate demanded that if she did the shoot, that she absolutely must get the cover. She also had a list of photographers and hair and makeup people she would only work with."
Page Six reported that Sports Illustrated originally planned to have three cover stars this year: tennis pro Serena Williams, supermodel Christie Brinkley and Upton. The latter's appearance is reportedly "still up in the air" because of her alleged demands. SI previously featured three covers last year with Ashley Graham, Hailey Clauson and MMA champ Ronda Rousey.
Upton, 24, who was famously named Rookie of the Year in 2011, appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit's 2012 and 2013 issues. This year, however, "she was being a big f--king diva," the source claimed to Page Six. "She thinks she's better than everyone because she's an actress."
A Sports Illustrated representative appeared to deny the cover speculation, telling Page Six, "It's that time of year again. Who is in, who's on the cover, what will they do next? Everyone has a guess, and that's all this is."
Us Weekly has reached out to Upton's rep for comment.
The magazine released a photo from Brinkley's stunning shoot — which also features her two daughters, Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook — on Monday night. In the photo, the 63-year-old Sports Illustrated icon, who landed a record-breaking three consecutive covers in the late 1970s and early 1980s, shows off her fit physique in a black mesh swimsuit while on the beach with Joel, 31, and Cook, 18.
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