Former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza may be known for dodging hateful comments from Lisa Lampanelli left and right on Celebrity Apprentice, but we guarantee you there’s plenty more you don’t know about the graceful Venezuelan beauty. Check it out below:
She was discovered at age 13.
Her manager discovered Mendoza at a bus stop at the tender age of 13. Before winning the 2008 Miss Universe title, the 25-year old was already signed with Elite Model Management in 2001. Currently she can be seen in Garnier and Macy’s commercials.
She keeps her Miss Universe crown in her carry-on.
One may expect that a Miss Universe would have her diamond-encrusted crown carefully tucked away in a glass case for close friends and family to gawk at, but the AIDS advocate admits to carrying her prized possession in her carry-on suitcase. This way the crown never leaves her sight. Smart lady!
She was kidnapped in Venezuela.
In 2007, she was kidnapped in her native country. She claims that the experience helped her stay balanced and calm during the Miss Universe competitions. “It's something that happens in Venezuela if you're out after 8 pm," Mendoza told Howard Stern in an interview. She said that at the end of the day, the kidnappers didn’t gain much from keeping her hostage since her family didn’t come from money. They ended up dropping her off at a highway and giving her $10 to take a cab home.
She doesn’t know how to swim.
In an interview back in 2009, Mendoza revealed that she doesn’t know how to swim and the very thought of it kind of freaks her out. “I get scared! If the water is too deep, and I can’t touch the floor it freaks me out,” she said.
Despite having a mystery boyfriend when she first won the crown, Mendoza confessed to Telemundo’s, El Rojo Vivo, that she is not in a relationship at the moment. We doubt that’s on the top of her priority list right now anyway!