Miss Universe 2022 judge Emily Austin slams Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro over cheating claims

Miss Universe 2022 judge Emily Austin slammed Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro who alleged that the Miss Universe 2022 Competition in New Orleans last Jan. 14 was rigged.

"It's so funny because Maduro is literally an illegitimate president and cheated his way there. It's like when a thief calls another thief out," said Austin, a sports journalist, during an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital.

Austin added: "If I'm being honest with you, my order was Dominican Republic, USA and then Venezuela third. Miss USA was not my first one, but she was very well deserving of it."

Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel

In a separate report by businessinsider.com, Maduro can be heard saying the crown was "stolen" from Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel, who placed as the first runner-up, according to a Twitter video shared and translated two days after the pageant.

"They stole our Miss Universe. Amanda Dudamel won on the street, well it can't be a robbery like that," alleged Maduro, according to a translation, in the same report by businessinsider.com.

Maduro was reportedly speaking at a military meeting in Caracas, Venezuela, at the time, the Latin American news site Remezcla also reported.

R’Bonney Gabriel, Miss Universe USA 2022 is crowned Miss Universe at the conclusion of the 71st MISS UNIVERSE Competition® on January 14th, 2023 at the New Orleans Ernst N. Morial Convention Center airing LIVE on The Roku Channel in English and Telemundo in Spanish. Contestants from around the globe have spent the last few weeks touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the MISS UNIVERSE crown.

Austin added: "It deters from what's really going on. And they do treat it like a World Cup. He's showing, 'Look, I have this national pride,' but he's destroying his own country. I feel like he has bigger problems to deal with than Miss Universe."

Miss USA R'Bonney Gabriel of Texas was crowned Miss Universe 2022, beating 82 other women from around the world. First runners-up honors went to Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel while Miss Dominican Republic Andreina Martinez, 2nd runner-up.