In Season 4, Episode 3 of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, newcomer Joyce Giraud mentions that not only did she compete in the Miss Universe pageant, but she also weathered a scandal that could have gotten her knocked out of the competition. So what exactly happened? Here’s what we’ve learned.
Joyce, who grew up in Puerto Rico, has one of those amazing discovery stories — and she has Kentucky Fried Chicken to thank for it! According to a bio on Studio M, the brunette beauty was discovered by a talent agent as a teen, while she was flipping chicken at a local KFC.
She started off dabbling in acting and modeling, and after completing college (with two Bachelor’s degrees, no less!) at age 19, she got into pageants. It was in 1998 that she won the title of Miss Puerto Rico, which earned her a spot at the Miss Universe pageant.
She tells Oye Mag that she hadn’t intended to enter the pageant. “It was a dare,” she said. “One of my best friends dared me to do it.”
However, once she won the Miss Puerto Rico title, certain old modeling shots began circulating which put her spot in the competition at risk. In the photos, Joyce is topless, however there’s no real nudity as her breasts are concealed. As she mentions on RHoBH, she went straight to Donald Trump, who owns and produces the competition (or rather, called his secretary), and he said had no problem with the photos and she was allowed to stay in the pageant.
"It's just incredible to know that you have your country's support behind you,” Joyce told Oye Mag about the support of her native Puerto Rico during the controversy. “The love I felt from the people of Puerto Rico made it all worthwhile.”
Joyce surely made her country proud: She went on to win second runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant.
Flash forward 15 years, and all those years in pageants probably serve Joyce well when it comes to the drama, backstabbing, and catfights of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills!