Michelle McLean Biography: Age, Modelling, Charity, Husband, Child, Divorce

She conquered the world and went on to be crowned Miss Universe in 1992. Here are fascinating facts about Michelle...

By  | May 20, 2020, 02:11 PM

Many models dream of wearing the biggest crown in the beauty pageant industry – Miss Universe. But it is only a few that get to live that dream. Michelle McLean, who has now taken her husband's surname Bailey and goes by the name Michelle McLean - Bailey, is one of them. 

She was the first Namibian to win Miss Universe.

Here is what you need to know about this beauty queen...

Michelle McLean Age

Michelle is 47 years old. She was born on 30 July 1972.  

As a young girl, she enjoyed playing on the streets of Windhoek, Namibia – her place of birth.

Michelle McLean Education

She attended school at Centaurus High School which is in Windhoek. 

She later moved from Namibia to complete her studies in Cape Town, South Africa in 1989. She completed her grade 11 and 12 in South Africa. 

After completing Grade 12 which was then called standard 10, she studied at Boston House College

From South Africa, after completing her studies, she relocated to Los Angeles in the United States. 

Michelle is a qualified actress. She studied acting in Hollywood – the show-business capital of the world. This was between the year 1992 to 1995. 

 Michelle McLean Modelling

Michelle started her modelling career when she was just a teen - 13 years. 

In 1991, Michelle won the Miss Namibia. The same year she entered Miss World pageant and was in the top 5. 

She was the fourth runner-up at the World Congress Centre in Atlanta, Georgia in 1991. But not winning, didn’t make Michelle quit. 

She entered the Miss Universe pageant in 1992. 

At age 19, she won Miss Universe. The pageants were held in Thailand.

She recently received the Best Title Holder Award at the Global Beauty Awards. The awards happened in  2018 at Seattle, in Washington, USA. 


Michelle McLean Television

The beauty queen started her TV career in South Africa. She was a presenter of the M-Net magazine show Front Row in 1995

Two years later, she presented another show on M-Net called Ford Today. The programme focused on showcasing Ford cars. Between 1999 to 2000, she presented a music show called 110 FM.

In the same year of 2000, she co-presented The Cosmo Show on M-Net with Marius Roberts. Other TV shows Michelle presented include E-Bucks, Life Style Homes of South Africa and Celebrity Homes. 


Michelle McLean Speaker

Michelle is recognized as a keynote speaker. Her experience in the media industry, plus running successful businesses has seen her visit several countries as a speaker. She has been booked in many countries - Africa, Europe and the United States to speak under the topic “Success Under Pressure”. Some of the companies she was booked to speak at include Investec, Puma, Fortune Magazine, MTV, Mercedes Benz, Red Bull, Ford Motors, Revlon, Volvo, and UNICEF.

In April 2019, she was invited to speak at the  Miss Florida USA Seminar.

Michelle McLean Emcee

The former Miss Universe is a great emcee. She has been the MC for events such as; Nokia Face of Africa, SA Sports Illustrated Model search competitions, Revlon Supermodel in 2007,  Miss Namibia pageant, and the 2010 Miss South Africa. 
Apart from being an MC, in 2019, Michelle got to be a judge on Queen Beauty Universe.

Michelle McLean Husband

Michelle’s first husband was  Neil Bierbaum – the former FHM editor. 

They got married in 1998 in Swakopmund, Namibia. 

The couple had a son – Luke. He was born in 1999. 

The two divorced in 2006. 

Michelle is currently married to Gary Bailey. They had an intimate wedding in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Michelle’s hometown – Windhoek in 2013. Gary is a former Manchester United and England Goalkeeper. 


Michelle McLean Child

Michelle has one child with ex-husband Neil Bierbaum. Luke was born in 1992.

Michelle McLean Charity 

Michelle runs several charity organisations. 

She often goes to Namibia to help the less fortunate, especially children, in the wintertime. Michelle’s organisation donates blankets and food. 

Michelle McLean Children Trust is one of the model’s charity organisations. The model established it in 1991, in Namibia.  

The model has worked with the likes of international celebrities - Angelia Jolie and Brad Pitt to raise millions of dollars for the organisation. 

Michelle also has has a Children’s ward at the Central Hospital in Namibia. 

Not only is she changing the lives of the poor people in Namibia, but she has another foundation -Donna Terra, in Cape Town. 

Michelle McLean Primary school

Michelle was central in building a primary school in Windhoek that provides education for the less fortunate. Before opening the school, kids from rural areas had to walk a long distance ( eight to ten kilometres) to school. She founded the school with Dr Sam Nujoma – the first president of independent Namibia between 1990 and 2005. 

The school is named after Michelle and was built in 2000. It started off with just over a hundred students but has grown to have thousands of learners. 


Michelle McLean Businesses

The former Miss Universe runs several businesses. 
She is the founder of Business of Beauty - where she coaches women in the beauty industry.

In 1998 Michelle was presented with The Lifetime Achievement Award by Donald Trump the owner of the Miss Universe Organization. This was for her philanthropy work. 

She was also associated with Lux South Africa and was the face of Lux Lotion.

Michelle was also a UNICEF Ambassador for many years.

She has proven that she is not just a beautiful face, but has a heart of gold.

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Main image credit: afrotourism.com