Authorities in India said Thursday that they have now filed a formal complaint over Miss Universe Olivia Culpo’s fashion shoot at the Taj Mahal, after the U.S. beauty queen posed with red high heels in front of the “monument to love” without permission.
Now, Culpo says she didn’t even want to do it, according to ABC News. “Honestly, I did at one point say out loud, ‘Isn’t this a little inappropriate?'” Culpo, 21, said. “It’s really upsetting because I loved my visit to India, and I would love nothing more than to go back, even in the near future.”
She added, “I was given directions 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,” Culpo told the Journal. “It’s upsetting to me that I was a part of that.”
The Miss Universe organization has apologized for the photo shoot, stating that “the filming that took place outside the Taj Mahal was never intended to be used as a commercial nor was it meant in any way to be disrespectful.”
Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot that Olivia Culpo can do to appease Indian authorities. According to Boston.com. The Indian culture has a strong reverence for the monument, completed in 1648 after 22 years of labor as a mausoleum for the empress Mumatz Mahal.
“She essentially only has one option, which is to apologize and throw away the tapes and allow the Indian government to make an example of her to discourage other people from doing something like this ever again,” said Davidson Goldin, a crisis communications expert at Goldin Solutions in New York City.
Penalties are fairly steep for such acts, which seem to be considered near sacrilege. Culpo could face up to two years in prison and a $1,600 fine for violating India’s Heritage Act, which bans commercial activities on the Taj Mahal grounds.
Image via wikipedia