Nina Davuluri Shrugs Off Racist Tweets, Denies Mallory Hagan Bashing

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Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri is brushing off the deluge of racist Tweets that followed her win last night, while denying that she bashed her predecessor.

Many of the tweets were attacks on the fact that Nina, 24, is the first woman of Indian-American descent to win the pageant and wear the crown.

Nina Davuluri Miss America Pic
Nina Davuluri Bikini Photo

She was referred to as "the Arab," or "the terrorist," or "Miss 7-11" by some, with commenters pointing out "This is America, not India" and so forth.

If it's bothering her at all, Nina Davuluri isn't showing it.

"I have to rise above that," said the former Miss New York and native of Syracuse, N.Y. "I always viewed myself as first and foremost American."

"I'm so happy this organization has embraced diversity," she said. "I'm thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America."

Meanwhile, Davuluri, 24, addressed a scandalous report that surfaced several days before Sunday night's pageant in a sitdown with Good Morning America.

According to Page Six, Nina was said to have been secretly recorded calling Mallory Hagan "fat as f--k" before the pageant. Hagan is Miss America 2013.

At the time, she said the remarks were made by "people in my hotel room" and Miss America organizers said there was "no validity" to the report.

"Oh my gosh," said Davuluri on Monday, addressing the controversy head-on. "It was such an unfortunate situation. I never made those comments."

"I called Mallory and have apologized to her because it was the right thing to do. And we worked it out. She's been an incredible resource throughout this journey."

She noted that she hugged Mallory Hagan after winning Miss America 2014.

"And I'm just so thankful to have her be a part of this," Davuluri said.

Nina said she was most proud of her talent portion of the show:

"It's the first time Bollywood has ever been performed on the Miss America stage and it's such an honor for myself, my family and the Indian community, as well."

Nina graduated in 2012 from the University of Michigan with a degree in Brain Behavior and Cognitive Science. She plans to pursue career as a physician.

A self-proclaimed geek, in Nina's official Miss New York bio video, she jokes she's "kind of a nerd," adding, "I love Star Wars, Star Trek and anything sci-fi."

Congratulations to the beautiful, talented and smart Miss America!

Nina Davuluri Wins Miss America
Nina Davuluri Pic
Nina Davuluri Image
Nina Davuluri Twitter Photo
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