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Miss USA Has a Secret Stripper Past. Why Are We Not Surprised?

Rima Fakih courtesy of mojointhemorning.com; Denise Truscello/WireImage

Forget the Best Actress Oscar. We're pretty sure there's a Miss USA curse.

First there was Tara Conner. Then Katie Rees. And who could forget Carrie Prejean? (Certainly not Rees.)

Now it's time to get familiar—make that very familiar—with Rima Fakih, the newest Miss USA who seems more than capable of upholding the one tradition pageant officials would just as soon let fall to the wayside.

Ah, well. If they can't nab ratings, they may as well try for headlines, right? Here's the latest scandal…

Today, just hours after 24-year-old Fakih took home the crown, pictures have surfaced of her grinding her way down a stripper pole wearing a tank top and red booty shorts.

What a loss to the talent portion of last night's showdown.

The pictures were taken back in 2007, when Fakih, the first Arab-American to win the coveted Miss USA title, was competing in a slightly less prestigious competition: namely, Detroit radio's Mojo in the Morning Stripper 101 pageant.

"Rima was our overall winner of the best student Stripper 101," morning show host Mojo tells E! News. "We do it every July. We give away awards for the best pole dancing, the best lap dancing and the best booty shake."

Take that, Miss Congeniality.

Fakih, also the reigning Miss Michigan, is no stranger to the surfacing of scantily clad photos, but this is the first time such a shot could hurt her standings in the Donald Trump-run pageant.

"We just got a phone call from some of the people from the pageant," Mojo says. "They were kind of insinuating to us that she could be in trouble for doing this contest."

Gee, ya think?

"They asked for copies of all the pictures and they wanted the specifics of what happens at the event," he says. "They did not ask us to stop giving them out, although they didn't seem very pleased that they were on the website…it would be foolish to think differently of Rima based on a contest that happened three years ago.

"We would hope this wouldn't harm anything as far as her status with the pageant and the upcoming Miss Universe pageant."

Eh, if we know our Trump, he'll just let it run a couple more news cycles, get Fakih to squeeze out some tears, stage an overhyped press conference and ultimately play the hero by allowing her to keep her crown.

Just like old times.

(Originally published May 17, 2010, at 1:22 p.m. PT)

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If it's salacious photos of stars you're after, you've come to the right place. Check out our totally SFW gallery of Celebrity Skin!

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