She is the girl who has taken America by storm - but Katherine Webb's father has revealed how his stunning daughter was an ugly duckling who would come home from school in tears after being bullied.
Alan Webb, 52, who lives with his wife Leslie, 50, in Phenix City, Alabama, today told MailOnline of the pride he has in his model daughter, saying: 'Katherine was bullied, it was enough that she would cry at home, she would complain that school was very difficult.
'They called her names and she was very demeaned and felt very bad. Katherine was always very tall, even at a young age and taller than her classmates, and whenever you're different it's difficult, they would make fun of her.
The statuesque brunette, 23, who is the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, became a sensation after ESPN's cameras panned to her during the University of Alabama’s victory in the BCS title game on Monday night - sparking fawning comments from sportscasters Kirk Herbstreit and Brent Musburger.
And Miss Alabama 2012 has been forced to change her telephone number after receiving 'thousands' of calls following her now-famous appearance in the stands at the game.
However, her father told MailOnline that his daughter also suffered at school after she developed Vitiligo, the same skin disorder known for discoloring pop icon Michael Jackson, aged five.
Mr Webb said: 'That was about the worst part of it, people noticed and called her out on it.
'That skin condition does require some doctor's care, even though there is no cure for it, it's under control and it's nothing that's life threatening.'
He added: 'Our Christian faith is very important and we have had to rely on our beliefs and our faith in God to help that all our children would realise their potential and that any weaknesses or problems would be worked out.
'Through her faith, Katherine has been successful in overcoming these problems. This sudden fame is so hard to imagine and so hard to grasp, it may be divinely inspired.'
Katherine, now a willowy 5ft 11ins tall, had previously told of the issues she battled at school, saying: 'I was always the tallest kid in my class, and classmates teased me for being awkward and lanky.
Now a model in LA after working at a manager at her local Chick-fil-A in Columbus, GA, she said: 'I had bad posture and would slump over to make myself seem shorter than I really was.'
Mr Webb, who owns a manufacturing business in Alabama, said he trusted his daughter to make 'good decisions' adding: 'There is a certain image that she wants to portray.
'She was interviewed recently and was talking about an offer she received to appear in Playboy. She said that being from the South and particularly Alabama, you don't want to do anything to embarrass your grandmother!'
And amid rumours that Katherine will appear in Sports Illustrated, Mr Webb said: 'She mentioned it - it's not confirmed - but I said 'it's cool just as long as it's NOT the swimsuit issue and she said 'I assure you dad - it's not that'.'
Katherine is one of four siblings. She has an older brother, David, 26, and younger sister Laurie and brother Matthew, who are 19-year-old twins and both college students.
And the Webbs are most definitely blessed as Laurie, who is a student at Auburn University, bears a striking resemblance to Katherine and has also modelled locally, as well as winning a place on the Homecoming Court at her high school.
Mr Webb said: 'Our children are a credit to us. Laurie's done some modelling, but she's now focusing on her college career.'
Katherine shot to fame when the cameras panned to her and 73-year-old ESPN commentator Brent Musburger gushed: 'I'm telling you, you quarterbacks, you get all the good looking women. What a beautiful woman.'
Wow!' former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Herbstreit added. 'AJ's doing some things right down in Tuscaloosa.'
'If you're a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with pop,' added Musburger, who has been married to his wife Arlene for 50 years.
The ensuing furore ended in a subsequent apology from ESPN - and sent Katherine's number of Twitter followers spiking to more than 254,000 from a little over 2,000.
Ever since, her phone has been ringing off the hook, Donald Trump, who co-owns the Miss Universe Organization, said this week: 'She was forced to change her phone number,' Trump said. 'She was getting thousands and thousands of calls. Katherine has to stay grounded now that she's become a big star.'
And Mr Webb said: 'We were at my mother's home, watching the game, and we saw what was happening.
Katherine called at half-time and we told her and she said 'no way, are you joking?'
'This thing was beginning to blow up, it was so surreal.'
Speaking about AJ, Mr Webb said: 'He's very respectful and polite. My wife's family have met him and all commented on what a really friendly and down to earth guy he is.'
However, he said that his daughter does not want to pursue celebrity status, saying: 'She wants to give back to people. A lot of people don't know her and know what a tender heart she has concerning others.
'They see her as this new celebrity, but there's great depth to her.'
Meanwhile, her sister is just as proud of her as her parents are and tweeted: 'It's so crazy, I'm so excited for her!
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2261053/EXCLUSIVE-How-Miss-Alabama-USA-cried-night-bullied-looks-did-mention-stunning-sister-wants-model-too.html#ixzz2HxnE23m9
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Posted By: LAwerk |
1/14/13 3:12 PM
I think she is doing just fine portraying a great image for herself
Posted By: Egon3 |
1/15/13 3:01 PM
Beautiful inside and out :)