The Michigan beauty queen who made history two years ago by becoming the first Arab-American crowned Miss USA has since been dealing with some legal woes.
Last year, Rima Fakih faced unflattering headlines when she was arrested for drunk driving in Detroit's Highland Park. And although the brunette beauty had been giving everyone the silent treatment about what the deal was with her DUI charges and upcoming court date, she has now changed her mind and decided to discuss her recent situation with E! News.
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“I went out with some old friends and we were having fun. A couple of them were very intoxicated. When I went to leave, I refused to let them drive. So when I got pulled over, I was the driver. The police said that I said I was Miss USA. I don't even tell the TSA at the airport who I am so why would I say that to the police? It was upsetting to me what the police were doing. I do like to have fun [but] I don't need alcohol to have fun,” Fakih said.
Fakih said authorities were “nice at first” despite her driving a drunk friend's car. However, when they discovered a bottle in the back of the car, they asked Fakih to step out and get on the sidewalk.
“I have a clean record, always been an honor student,” she said. “I was very embarrassed and scared. I told the cops please just make sure that my friend gets home safe. He was highly intoxicated.”
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Fakih tells us that after the arrest, she did send out a tweet on Twitter saying, “Let's clear things up now. … I'm NOT in Michigan and I'm NOT in jail! Wrong Fakih.” But the tweets were removed soon after.
“I was afraid for my family and that this [the news of the arrest] could get to my family,” Fakih said, explaining her false denial at the time. “It's a little tough when you have to think about your family. They're so proud of me, always have my back.”
“It was a bad idea but it's too late anyway. It was everywhere in minutes. I apologize for that.”
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According to police reports, on Dec. 3, 2011, Fakih was allegedly driving 60 mph in a 30 mph zone and weaving in and out of traffic before they pulled her over. Officers reportedly found an open bottle of champagne behind the driver's seat of the 2011 Jaguar.
Fakih appeared in court Wednesday in Highland Park to face the drunk driving charge and was told by the judge that a bench trial was set for March 13. She reportedly faces up to 93 days in prison if convicted, as well as court fees and fines.
Following her appearance in court, Rima tweeted, “They say “expect the worse.” I say “Expect the best and even better will happen.”
“I am ready to get it over with,” Fakih said about the trial. “I wanted it to be handled this week but it wasn't. The judge is being extra hard on me, but I understand there are a lot of people looking up to me. I'm the type that doesn't mind challenges but I do want to be treated like a person.”
Fakih thanked everyone for being supportive and “for anyone that is upset or sees me as a bad person, don't judge a book by its cover. Look deep inside and see I am a good person and I will always keep making them proud.”
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