Miss Universe and actor boyfriend: How the pandemic lockdown brought power couple together
When Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and her boyfriend walk into Emara Ole Sereni hotel, where they are scheduled for an interview with The Standard, they immediately steal the show.
Not only are they both impossibly good-looking, tall, and radiant, but they are crazy in love, by all means.
They lean towards each other and giggle at inside jokes. When separated momentarily by journalists and event organisers to take part in different interviews, they look at each other longingly from across the room, smiling and sharing what appears to be their own secret conversation using only their eyes.
The Filipino-Australian beauty queen is in Kenya creating awareness about cleft-lip care and correction. She has been accompanied by her boyfriend, Sam Milby.
He is a Filipino-American actor and musician who is known for TV shows like The Law of Revenge, Mara Clara and appearing on Pinoy Big Brother in 2005.
Speaking to us in an exclusive interview, Miss Universe 2018 says that their love story was solidified during the lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Boyfriend of the year goes to Sam!” Gray says before breaking into a giddy laugh.
“Last year, he actually got me my first dog as a Valentine's Day gift. So he set the bar very high for future Valentine's Days. I fell in love with him because, I mean, we have been in lockdown for an enormous amount of time in the Philippines, so having a puppy companion made that bearable. We added another puppy to our family just recently so I am an official dog-mum,” says Gray.
While the model praises her boyfriend for his caring nature only briefly, Milby, on the other hand gushes about his stunning girlfriend throughout the sit-down.
Opening up about how they met, Milby reveals that the pair’s friendship blossomed in church.
“We met a long time ago at an event. We had common friends but we never hang out. Then, before she actually competed for Miss Universe, we ended up going to the same church and became friends through that. We hang out with the same group of friends,” Milby says.
He adds: “Which is nice - the fact that we were friends before she became Miss Universe.”
In a candid sit-down with The Standard, Milby opened up about accompanying his significant other to Kenya, noting that the cleft-lip awareness campaign has touched him too.
Speaking about the huge moment when she secured the prestigious Miss Universe title, the 27-year-old model says the feeling of being crowned was indescribable.
“I do not even know how to encapsulate a moment where you realise a dream. I think it is a very unique experience because when people look at goals, it is usually gradual. But with Miss Universe, it was instant. I could not even process it; I went completely blank and I guess you could say I left my body,” she says.
She adds: “It was not just a personal victory, I really felt the weight of my nation. It gave me so much pride to bring my nation pride. That made it so special.”
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