Thus, rumors suggesting WWE is opposed to signing her on the basis of an incident with a WWE wrestler – assumed by some to be an “inappropriate relationship” – could not come as more devastating. Leyla assures her fans that any claims related to an affair with a male WWE wrestler are false (she declined to comment on the possibility of there being another incident). And, although she cannot comment on specifics, she has not been led to believe that striking a deal with WWE is impossible.
In fact, when asked about backstage treatment from WWE superstars and officials, Leyla had nothing but positives.
“No, everyone at WWE was super nice,” she says. “The other Divas were great. They gave us advice and tried to be sincerely sweet to us. [The male wrestlers] were like our older brothers. Personally, I looked up to a lot of them. [They were] a very talented, dedicated and professional bunch of guys.”
Those who viewed the Diva Search finale two weeks ago could not help but notice the differing reactions of Leyla and Ashley. While Ashley shook with excitement, Leyla appeared somewhat unenthusiastic about the revelation of the results.
“In the end, I knew she was going to win, and I guess you saw it in my face. That moment was too real for me and I couldn’t hide my emotions,” Leyla explains.
But, why would Leyla have been led to reach that conclusion? Both received Internet buzz for their performance on the show and, based on the results, both had strong fanbases. Why would Leyla have suspected anything other than the $250,000 contract?
“I think she won in the end because she gave out her phone number and had a way to communicate with her fans,” she argues. “In my case, I didn’t even have a website at the time.”
Although Leyla did not have a website at the time, she drew buzz in a way that certainly matched, if not exceeded, the attention Ashley scored for her phone number: Leyla Milani had a “wardrobe malfunction” during the Bikini Bootcamp Competition. Both common sense and fellow contestant Alexis suggest that it was staged; Leyla, however, stands firm in her denial of any pre-planning.
“[The nip-slip] wasn’t staged,” Leyla, who says she wore pasties simply because of the size of her top, contends. “I’ve said it before, ‘I’m more creative than that.’ I don’t linger on the past and I tend to make the best of the situation, so instead of whining and complaining about what happened, I decided to turn the incident into a positive one and had fun with it.”
While Leyla has the world to say about virtually all of her fellow contestants, she believes that her exotic look was, in itself, responsible for increasing RAW viewership each week. She also stands by her decision to low-blow Earl Hebner, even though the crowd reacted very negatively to the surprise attack.
“The timing for it couldn’t have been more perfect,” she explains. “When I see opportunities like that, I don’t just let [them] pass me by.”
Leyla, who would have chosen Elisabeth to win the competition (had she and Ashley not been in the running), was aware of the hardcore fans’ dislike of the Diva Search. Nonetheless, Leyla believes WWE was justified in airing the competition.
“Although the Diva Search was disliked by some people, it did get really high ratings week after week. I think people love to hate us. But hey, that’s entertainment for you,” she claims.
With a new website at LeylaMilani.com, the Diva Search runner-up is committed to communication with those who supported her run at the $250,000 prize.
“Being part of this competition was the highlight of my career and I owe my success and lasting to the very end to my amazing fans,” she says. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart and please stay in touch.”