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SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – SEPTEMBER 12: Leila Lopes, from Angola, receives the crown of Miss Universe 2011 from the former Queen Ximena Navarrete at Credicard Hall on September 12, 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Bia Schmidt/LatinContent /Getty Images)
Miss Universe 2011 Top 5 that included our very own Shamcey Supsup (2nd from left) who finished 3rd Runner-Up to Leila Lopes (Photo by Bia Schmidt/LatinContent via Getty Images)
Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images
It only took seven years before the pageant would return to South America. And Miss Universe celebrated its 60th Anniversary in São Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil and the largest Portuguese-speaking city in the world. Mere mention of the host country’s name bring the music of Samba and the world-famous Carnival in my head. And what a time for Angola to win its very first crown and for the Philippines to capture its second consecutive Top 5 placement via Shamcey Supsup in the pageant’s modern history. I also thought that we would finally get our first of two potential (and elusive
) 2nd Runner-Up spots during this edition. Oh well.
A native of Benguela, Leila had to pass through and top the Miss Angola UK finals before earning the ticket to compete for Miss Angola 2010 which she won. From there, she prepared for the big competition in Brazil. Even if she spoke fluent Portuguese (that would bring her closer to the locals in São Paulo), it was never a problem to communicate in English. After all, she studied Business Management at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich.
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Some controversy surrounded Leila after being crowned Miss Universe 2011 courtesy of allegations that she submitted false documents during Miss Angola UK and that she shouldn’t have qualified to compete in the contest for reasons that she was living in Angola all her life. With the help of the MUO, she was able to prove the detractors wrong. She did reside in the UK for four years.
Less than a year after her reign, Leila got engaged to New York Giants player Osi Umenyiora. But it was only in 2015 when the two of them got married. She has one son, Lucas, who was born last 2018.
Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes and husband Osi Umenyiora attend the Royal Television Society Programme Awards at Grosvenor House on March 19, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Leila and son Lucas