Miss Universe contestant apologises after 'bullying' fellow contestant

A Miss Universe contestant has been forced to publicly apologise after accusations of bullying and xenophobia.

Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers, Miss Australia Francesca Hung and Miss Colombia Valeria Morales faced backlash online after posting an Instagram Live of them mocking the poor English of several of the beauty queens from Asian countries.

"Miss Vietnam [H'Hen Nie] pretends to know so much English and you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her she goes... [nods]" Summers says in the now-expired video, before laughing with the other two.

In another live video, Summers questions how the competition must be without knowing a word of English.

"Miss Cambodia [Nat Rern] is here and doesn't speak any English and not a single other person speaks her language,' Summers says. "Could you imagine? Like Francesca said, 'that would be so isolating' and I said 'yes', and I mean, just confusing all the time."

Miss Australia adds, "It would be really hard".

The livestreams drew backlash on social media, with one twitter user writing the three women were "toxic".

"They're super disrespectful with the other girls, and what they said about Brazil, Cambodia and Vietnam is a huge prove of it."

Another wrote: "Shame on you. This xenophobic individual represents hate and should be disqualified immediately for her comments about Miss Cambodia. Racism shouldn't be tolerated."

Now Summers has publicly apologised for actions in a new Instagram post.

"In a moment where I intended to admire the courage of a few of my sisters, I said something that I now realise can be perceived as not respectful, and I apologise," she wrote.

"My life, friendships, and career revolve around me being a compassionate and empathetic woman. I would never intend to hurt another.

"I am grateful for opportunities to speak with Nat, Miss Cambodia, and H'Hen, Miss Vietnam, directly about this experience. These are the moments that matter most to me."