Shilpa Shetty, the Bollywood actress at the centre of the race row that dominated Celebrity Big Brother, has been named this year's winner.
The 31-year-old shrieked with joy on hearing she had won the public vote. She said the experience on the C4 show had been "incredible and overwhelming".
Asked about the race row by host Davina McCall, she insisted ringleader Jade Goody "didn't mean to be racist".
She thanked the public for "a fantastic opportunity to make my country proud".
"People make mistakes and we're all human beings, we're all fallible," said Shetty, referring to Goody's behaviour. "She is a little aggressive. She may be hot-tempered... but she's not a racist."
Fellow housemate model Danielle Lloyd earlier apologised for her remarks to Shetty, who won 63 per cent of the public vote.
Lloyd, 23, and fellow evictee Jack Tweed were greeted with heavy booing as they left the house in the first round of evictions held during the final show on Sunday.
Former beauty queen Danielle later apologised to Shilpa
Both Lloyd and Tweed were implicated in the race row, alongside former S Club 7 singer Jo O'Meara.
Both were upset when shown footage of their behaviour towards Shetty, whose treatment at the hands of some of her housemates sparked a global race row.
"I feel terrible," said Lloyd; Tweed - boyfriend of Jade Goody - insisted it had nothing to do with skin colour.
Lloyd immediately apologised for her behaviour towards the Bollywood star, insisting her remarks had been made "in the heat of the moment".
"I wasn't laughing at Shilpa... it was just nerves," said Lloyd. "I hate confrontation."
Asked what she had learned on the show, she said: "Not to be such a bitch."
Goody rose to fame in the non-celebrity version of Big Brother
Her friends are reported to have requested a meeting with police and lawyers to make sure she was not misrepresented on the programme.
They are expected to raise the matter at a previously scheduled meeting next week.
Singer Ian "H" Watkins, the third person to be evicted in the final show, told McCall that he felt "completely out of my depth" when fighting in the house was at its most intense.
"I just think I've led a very sheltered life and I just back away from things like that."
His eviction was followed by former A Team star Dirk Benedict, who backed Shetty to win praising her "innate elegance and great sense of humour".
Jermaine Jackson, brother of pop star Michael, was the show's runner-up.
Neither Goody nor O'Meara appeared to be at the live final on Sunday, although all the remaining evicted housemates attended the show.
At the height of the row protesters in India burned effigies
On Friday, former S Club 7 star Jo O'Meara denied being a racist following her eviction, but the singer has remained resolutely unapologetic.
"I can't say I am sorry for something I am not guilty of," she told the Sunday Mirror. "If I went back in there then I'd say it all again."
Media watchdog Ofcom received more than 40,000 complaints about the alleged racist bullying in the current series of the C4 reality TV show.
Goody, who was evicted more than a week ago, admitted her behaviour was "nasty" but denied being a racist.
"I happen to like Jade," Jackson, 52, told McCall in his exit interview. "She is who she is. But Shilpa is from another culture and they did not fit."
At the height of the row, politicians including Chancellor Gordon Brown became involved and Carphone Warehouse suspended its sponsorship of the series.