Despite nearly three decades having passed since she won the Miss Universe crown in 1994, Sushmita Sen has remained a household name. Her acting career has always experienced noticeable ups and downs, however, she is gradually making a comeback, this time in the world of streaming. In 2023 alone, she appeared in two shows, receiving considerable praise.
Now that the third season of her crime-thriller series Aarya is streaming, Sushmita recently got candid about her past, and also reminisced about the time when she ran the Miss Universe franchise from India, at a time when it was owned by former US President Donald Trump.
Mentioning that the offer arrived when she was juggling responsibilities at Renee Jewellers and handling various endorsements, Sushmita revealed to Mid-Day, “The Miss Universe organisation called me and asked if I would like to take the franchise. I was like, ‘What? Really?’ Like, that’s a dream. It’s a payback of sorts. I asked them what it entailed, because I never had direct relationships with vendors. I then realised how to deal with people because I signed a pretty intense contract when I took on the franchise, and it was owned at that point by Donald Trump.”
“This didn’t make it easy or fun,” she noted, before emphasising that Trump was never her ‘boss’ at any point during this stint. “Luckily, the only people who were my boss were Paramount Communication and Madison Square Garden because they owned Miss Universe when I was an employee there for a year. I was a franchise owner for Donald Trump,” she clarified. “I took over the franchise in 2010. I called it ‘I Am She.’ We trained 30 women in the first year and then 25 and 25 in the two subsequent years. So, a lot of young women with great potential. By 2012, I realised I loved the process of sending girls from India, but I didn’t like the people I was working with. I dropped the franchise in 2012,” she recalled.
Admitting that she met Trump on a few occasions, she refused to speak about him in greater detail. “There are some people who leave an impression, not necessarily because of their achievements or power. Just for the people that they are. He is not one of them,” she added.