Beauty Queens behaving badly – from Zara Holland's Covid scandal to nude photo leaks and a Tom Jones affair

Beauty Queens behaving badly – from Zara Holland's Covid scandal to nude photo leaks and a Tom Jones affair

January 20, 2021

BEAUTY queens are the epitome of elegance and glamour, but what happens when their diamond encrusted crowns slip?

Former Miss Great Britain Zara Holland was recently slapped with a £4,500 fine after being found guilty of attempting to flee Barbados while her boyfriend had Covid-19.

Fortunately, she managed to swerve jail but her reputation has been left in tatters.

It’s not the first time the 25-year-old brought the iconic beauty pageant into disrepute, however. In 2016, she was sensationally dethroned after romping on-screen in front of millions of viewers on ITV2's reality show Love Island. 

Speaking exclusively to The Sun, head judge of Miss Great Britain, Sally-Ann Fawcett, 53, from Scarborough, says: “When she lost her title it was the correct decision but there was some sympathy for her from the public.

"It rocked the beauty pageant world and divided opinion, people even signed online petitions for her to get her title back.  

“But things are very different this time round. She’s not this young, naive girl like she was on Love Island.

"You cannot defend getting on a plane when your partner has just tested positive for Covid. It’s a very sensitive time and the best thing she can do is keep out of the public eye and hope the storm will blow over.”

As Miss Great Britain celebrated its 75th birthday last year, Sally-Ann’s new book Miss Great Britain 1945 – 2020: The Official History celebrates 75 years of the iconic competition.  

She has also written three books lifting the lid on the highs, the lows and the dark side of the beauty world – Misdemeanours: Beauty Queen Scandals, More Misdemeanours, and Mis-3-meanours: Second Runner-Up – and is the head judge for some of the UK’s biggest beauty pageants, including Miss England and Miss Wales and, for the last six years, Miss Great Britain.

“When you enter a pageant you understand you’re a role model,” she continues. "But Zara isn’t the first beauty queen to misbehave and she certainly won’t be the last."

Here, Sally-Ann reveals other winners whose reigns were sensationally cut short for less than victorious reasons…

Marjorie Wallace (1973)

American beauty Marjorie Wallace became the first and only Miss World to be sacked after her affairs with singer Sir Tom Jones and football legend George Best. 

One report alleged she gave both lovers marks out of ten, with Sir Tom scoring considerably better than his rival. 

Miss World organiser Julia Morley commented: “We did not expect Miss World to live like an angel. None of us is infallible. But it is essential that she should act with decorum.”

But while she lost her title, it didn’t damage her career in the long-run. She became a successful TV hostess and recently revealed she and Sir Tom are still great friends and speak regularly.

Helen Morgan (1974)

After Majorie, the organisers were hoping Helen Morgan would repair the competition's damaged reputation.

But their hopes were dashed when, after winning Miss United Kingdom, the Welsh beauty, then 22, revealed she was a single mum to baby Richard.

There has been a rule since 1958 that married women couldn’t enter the pageant, but there was nothing in 1974 to stop women with children from taking part, so technically she hadn’t done anything wrong. 

But as you were supposed to be a single woman to enter competitions, the other contestants were up in arms over the revelation.

Desperate to make the furore end, the organisers offered Morgan a deal – resign and they would allow her to keep half the guaranteed earnings she would have made during her year-long reign. Morgan refused.

But four days after she won her title, news broke that she was cited in divorce papers after having an affair with a married Cardiff nightclub manager and she reluctantly resigned. 

Morgan went on to marry businessman Ronny Lamb and the family now live in London.  

Sian Adey-Jones (1976)

Miss Wales 1976, Sian Adey-Jones, was dubbed 'the Welsh wildcat' when she was arrested back in 1968 for assaulting a police officer. 

The car she was in, being driven by her then boyfriend Stephen Cryer, was pulled over by police in Colwyn Bay and Sian refused to cooperate and lashed out at the officers, kicking the main PC in the groin. 

Down at the station she had to be restrained as she was taken to the cells, yelling, "I'm a wildcat!" 

Sian was found guilty and subjected to a hefty fine when the case reached court. 

She shrugged off the controversy to become one of The Sun's most popular Page 3 Girls, and appeared in Bond movie A View To a Kill. Now 63, she lives in Ibiza with her husband and children. 

Gabriella Brum (1980)

German blonde Gabriella Brum was the shortest reigning Miss World in history in 1980. 

When, aged 18, she took the crown, her 52-year-old boyfriend, porn film producer Benno Bellenbaum, allegedly threatened to release nude photos of her.

Gabriella quit after just 18 hours to return home to her lover. 

The couple married but the union was short-lived, and Benno died by suicide in 1984. 

Gabriella, 58, now lives in California and prefers to keep a low profile after making every front page in the world back in 1980.

Vanessa Williams (1984)

Vanessa Williams made history in 1984 when she became the first African American to be crowned Miss America.

But by the July she was at the centre of a scandal when nude photos of her appeared on the pages of adult magazine Penthouse.

Despite being taken before the contest, while she’d been working as a photographer’s assistant, she bowed to pressure from the competition’s officials and sponsors and resigned.

But it didn’t harm her career for long. She went on to become a successful singer and actress and starred in Ugly Betty. 

Danielle Lloyd (2006)

Serial WAG Danielle Lloyd was sacked as Miss Great Britain 2006 when it was rumoured that she had been dating one of the judges before the contest.

It was alleged that footballer Teddy Sheringham was already living with the Liverpudlian beauty when he voted for her to win – rumours she denied. 

It was only when the Miss Great Britain organisation changed hands in later years that Danielle was vindicated and her title returned to her. 

She went on to appear on Celebrity Big Brother in 2007, attracting criticism for her bullying of actress Shilpa Shetty, but has retained a high profile and recently married second husband, northern Irish footballer Michael O'Neill. 

Rachel Christie (2009)

The niece of former Olympic sprint champion Linford Christie, Rachel became the first black winner of Miss England in 2009.

But her happiness was short-lived when later that year she was arrested on suspicion of assaulting Miss Manchester Sara Beverley Jones at a Manchester nightclub.

Rachel, now 32, was subsequently released without charge or caution but the embarrassment led to her withdrawal from the Miss World competition and she relinquished her Miss England crown. 

Zara Holland (2015)

Myself and Danielle Lloyd were two of the judges who chose Zara Holland as Miss Great Britain 2015. 

Everyone was unanimous that she was the perfect beauty queen – looks and personality. But one year later she rightly lost her title after an on-screen romp on ITV2's Love Island, attracting some sympathy from her fans. 

She returned to her home town of Hull and adjusted to normal life. 

But earlier this year she was thrust into the headlines yet again when she was arrested for attempting to flee the island of Barbados with her boyfriend Elliott Love, who had tested positive for Covid 19. 

Zara was fined £4,500 by a court on the island before being ordered to return to the UK.

Sally-Ann’s new book Miss Great Britain 1945 – 2020: The Official History is out now.

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