There was no peace in her world. Former Miss South Carolina Teen USA Caitlin Upton became an Internet sensation in 2007 after her infamous rambling answer about geography. Because of the ensuing ridicule, she had thoughts of ending it all.
The answer and the fallout still haunts the beauty today, and thanks to the Internet, her moment in time will live in infamy. Caitlin opened up about the embarrassing moment to New York magazine, saying that it's the lowest she's ever felt.
"I definitely went through a period where I was very, very depressed. But I never let anybody see that stuff, except for people I could trust. I had some very dark moments where I thought about committing suicide. The fact that I have such an amazing family and friends, it really, really helped," she said. "This is the first time I've actually been able to talk about it. It was awful, and it was every single day for a good two years. I've only spoken to my fiancé about how I felt in those moments truthfully, and my best friend. And, recently, my mom. But, like, my dad doesn't even know yet."
Caitlin's life changed on a day that started out with such promise. Then 19, the blond beauty had made it to the question-and-answer portion of the pageant. She was asked by actress Aimee Teegarden why she thought a fifth of Americans couldn't locate the United States on a world map.
"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as," she incoherently rambled. "I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future [for our children]."
The answer caught fire and went viral. Some of her friendships went up in flames, too.
"I lost a lot of close friends over it -- people I'd been friends with since I was 10, people I grew up playing soccer with," she said. "One group of girls took me to this party at the University of South Carolina, and I walk in, and the entire USC baseball team surrounded me and bashed me with the harshest, meanest comments I had ever heard."
She says her parents were ridiculed, as well.
"Somebody once put a letter in my parents' mailbox about how my body was going to be eaten alive by ants and burned in a freak fire," she revealed. "And then it said, in all caps, GO DIE CAITE UPTON, GO DIE FOR YOUR STUPIDITY. That's the kind of stuff people would say to me for two years."
While she can't change the past, she did change her appearance so that people don't bring up that painful moment. She's a brunette now.
She added, "I have not had any recognition for the Miss Teen USA Pageant at all. But I also get recognized for having a similar name to Kate Upton. So I'll go into my auditions and be like, 'Yes, yes, I know -- I'm the other one.'"