The Miss Universe Organization is arguably in better hands now. On Wednesday, it was announced that Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip — a Thai media tycoon who has been open about her experiences as a trans woman — purchased the pageant for $20 million, CNN reports. Jakrajutatip is also the CEO of JKN Global Group PCL, a Thailand-based media distribution company. With the acquisition, she becomes the first woman to own the organization, the same company once owned by former President Donald Trump.
Jakrajutatip, who said in a release she was “incredibly honored” to make the purchase of the company, which also includes Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, shared that she plans to expand the pageants vision in Asia with skincare, cosmetics, drinks, and lifestyle products.
“We seek not only to continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions but also to evolve the brand for the next generation,” she said.
The ownership change comes as Miss Universe brand has pushed for inclusivity over the last several years, including allowing married women and mothers to compete. Before, only women between the ages of 18 and 28 were allowed to submit.
Trump owned the Miss Universe Organization between 1996 and 2015. After making comments about Mexican immigrants that prompted the termination of the pageant’s partnerships with NBC and Univision, he sold the organization to International Management Group
Throughout the time Trump owned the pageant, he made creepy comments about the women who competed on the show, while some former Miss USA contestants claimed he walked into teen dressing rooms while they were changing.
“He just came strolling right in,” former Miss Arizona Tasha Dixon told CBS LA. “There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Others girls were naked. Our first introduction to him was when we were at the dress rehearsal and half-naked changing into our bikinis.”
The next Miss Universe pageant is scheduled for January, where Harnaaz Sandhu, the current titleholder, will crown the next competition winner in New Orleans.