INSTAGRAM model Natalia Garibotto says she has gained more than a half million followers after Pope Francis’ verified account appeared to “like” one of her racy photos.
Garibotto, 27, said the pope’s like in mid-November gained her 600,000 followers and that she has made a fortune as a result.
“I make money off Instagram,” Garibotto told the New York Post’s Page Six on Thursday.
She said the publicity has helped her get “more leverage” on brands.
In addition, the attention has given her “a confidence to post more in clothes and make deals in fashion,” the Miami-based Instagram model said.
Garibotto said that seeing the pope like her photo initially “shocked” her and that she considered it a “big deal.”
The pontiff’s @franciscus account liked an image of Garibotto wearing a tiny skirt that barely covered her behind, and a white crop-top.
At the time, the Brazilian model joked, “At least I’m going to heaven,” and “Brb on my way to the Vatican.”
The pope’s like did not last long—it was promptly removed and it remains unclear if Pope Francis controlled the account.
According to reports, a team runs the pope’s social media accounts.
A Vatican spokesperson told the Guardian: “We can exclude that the ‘like’ came from the Holy See, and it has turned to Instagram for explanations.”
The Vatican has launched an investigation to find out who was responsible for liking Garibotto’s photo using the pope’s official account.
Garibotto’s comments about how she has benefitted from the like come just a day after the pope’s account appeared to like a risqué photo of an X-rated model.
The pontiff’s verified account was captured liking a photo of OnlyFans star Margot Foxx, 18, wearing a tight black bodysuit.
Foxx, who calls herself “teddy queen,” shared a screenshot of the like and wrote, “The pope liked my picture that means I’m going to heaven.”
The Vatican has not yet commented on the latest like.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis told Catholic followers that gossiping is a plague that is “worse than coronavirus.”
Speaking at The Vatican, the pope said that the devil is the “biggest gossiper” and that partaking in the act threatens to divide the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis’ @franciscus Instagram account has more than 7.6 million followers and does not follow anyone.
The profile description states, “I want to walk with you along the way of God’s mercy and tenderness,” as well as, “Official Account, copyright Vatican Media.”
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