R’Bonney Gabriel from the United States became the new Miss Universe in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Saturday night, receiving the crown from last year’s winner, India’s Harnaaz Sandhu. But there was a marked difference with the 71st edition of the beauty pageant.
When the new Miss Universe, R’Bonney Gabriel from the United States, was crowned in New Orleans, she was the first winner under new pageant owner Anne Jakrajutatip.
The millionaire, whose Thai-based company, JKN Global Group, purchased the pageant in October 2022, may confuse some with her deep masculine baritone voice. In effect, the mother of two, Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, 43, is transgender. Her company acquired Miss Universe from Endeavor Group Holdings-owned IMG Worldwide, who, in turn, had purchased it from Donald Trump.
“I don’t call Miss Universe a beauty pageant anymore. I call it a women’s empowerment competition,” Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip said.