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Claire Sinclair is named 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year


Denise Truscello/WireImage

Claire Sinclair in Crazy Horse Paris at MGM Grand on Oct. 21, 2010.

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Claire Sinclair Rehearses for Crazy Horse Paris

Claire Sinclair rehearses for Crazy Horse Paris at MGM Grand. Launch slideshow »

Claire Sinclair's Debut in Crazy Horse Paris

Claire Sinclair's debut in Crazy Horse Paris at MGM Grand on Oct. 21, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Bettie Page Fashion Show With Claire Sinclair

The Bettie Page Fashion Show with Claire Sinclair at Fashion Show mall on Jan. 23, 2011. Launch slideshow »

For weeks, it’s been rumored that Claire Sinclair would land the title of 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year, even though magazine mogul Hugh Hefner won’t officially unveil his pick until May 7 here in Las Vegas.

But late last night, it appeared to become official with news from The Playboy Mansion in L.A. that Claire had won the voting over her two nearest rivals. I’m reliably told that she’s already shot the full pictorial for the upcoming edition that celebrates her title.

Last year, Hope Dworaczyk won the Playmate of the Year crown and has been competing in the new season of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. Hope said in an interview posted on on March 2 that becoming PMOY was a life-changer.

Claire, who has confirmed the exciting news with close friends, now divides her time between Las Vegas and L.A. She has turned up as a new cast member on Holly Madison’s E! Entertainment reality TV series Holly’s World. The twosome vacationed together just two weeks ago in Claire’s first visit to the French capital of Paris, and posted an exclusive photo gallery by Denise Truscello of their European adventure.

Since moving part time to Las Vegas, Claire became spokesmodel for the Bettie Page fashion boutique at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile and its vintage pinup clothing line. Last fall, she appeared for the first time as the youngest headliner in Crazy Horse Paris at MGM Grand and returns there April 20 for another seven-day run.

Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue shot a preview gallery before her Crazy Horse Paris debut, while Denise documented Claire’s premiere at MGM Grand attended by Hugh and Holly, among others.

Claire, who weighs 119 pounds and measures in at 36-24-38, turns 20 on May 25. The 5’7” brunette had been painted by sensual artist Olivia six times for Playboy before Hef chose her for a test shoot and then selected her for Miss October last year.

In addition to celebrating the PMOY title, there’s early word that Claire will star in Bunny House, a new E! Entertainment series beginning Aug. 8. Meantime, has learned that another Las Vegas beauty will be the centerfold Playboy model in an early summer edition, which could give Las Vegas two consecutive years of PMOY winners.

Hef will be in Las Vegas this weekend to celebrate his 85th birthday with fiancee Crystal Harris at the Palms. I have an on-camera video interview scheduled with him Saturday evening, and we’ll be certain to get some comments on his choice of Claire.

Congratulations to Claire, Vegas’ newest pinup princess, on being crowned the 2011 Playmate of the Year!

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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