Taj Mahal Photoshoot Goes Awry


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It's been a tumultuous week for Miss Universe 2012 pageant winner, Olivia Culpo. What began as a one-hour commercial photoshoot, has ended with indifference, and formal complaints. However, that's not the biggest problem. Culpo also faces possible jail time.

During her 10-day trip in India, Culpo was scheduled to do a number of charitable deeds, along with a photoshoot for the benefit of AIDS awareness, and violence against women. The photoshoot took place at the marble bench, widely referred to as the 'Diana Seat' on Central Tank outside the famous Taj Mahal. This is where the crux of the problem erupted.

According to the notably unwavering Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Supreme Court of India, Culpo and her representatives violated a branding and publicity stipulation in regards to the Taj Mahal. Any form of branding, advertisement or publicity to promote any product around the edifice is prohibited under Indian law.

Culpo is shown changing shoes in one of the photos. According to the Hindustan Times of India, this act falls in line with the violation. The high-heeled sandals were categorized as a particular brand. They were removed from a bag by one of Culpo's handlers. Culpo was noted to have one shoe on while holding another in her hand, posing for the picture. This act was considered a form of advertisement in an effort to make the shoe a focal point in the picture.

As a result of the act, whether blatant or subconscious, the Indian authorities filed a formal complaint, declaring the incident to be an 'alleged, unauthorized fashion shoot.' The incident is also categorized as disrespectful to India's heritage act.

Culpo issued an official statement of apology. It read: “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. We sincerely apologize for any unintentional harm our indiscretion and insensitivity may have caused.” The Rhode Island native also spoke with the Providence Journal in regards to the recent events. “I never wanted to do it,” admitted Culpo about the photoshoot. “Honestly I did at one point say out loud, ‘Isn’t this a little inappropriate?,’ she said.

Unfortunately, Indian authorities felt her admission was a little too late. An official claim has been filed by the Indian police. If Culpo is found guilty of the charges, she could face a maximum of 2 years in prison, in addition to a $1,600 fine.


Image via Wikipedia | Olivia Culpo