NeNe Leakes arrives at the Miss USA Pageant held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on June 16, 2013.

NeNe Leakes arrives at the Miss USA Pageant held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on June 16, 2013.

*It was “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes during Sunday’s nationally-televised Miss USA pageant who asked Miss Utah the question that landed her in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Utah’s Marissa Powell, 20, was asked by Leakes, 45, what it says about society that women continue to earn less than men even though they are the primary earners in 40 percent of American families with children.

Television personality and host Giuliana Rancic (L) looks on as Miss Utah USA Marissa Powell answers a question from a judge during the interview portion of the 2013 Miss USA pageant at PH Live at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on June 16, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Television personality and host Giuliana Rancic (L) looks on as Miss Utah USA Marissa Powell answers a question from a judge during the interview portion of the 2013 Miss USA pageant at PH Live at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on June 16, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Her rambling “create more education” response will pass, believes Leakes, who acknowledges to People.com in a statement, “We all make mistakes that often result in a miscommunication.”

Adds the reality star: “Unfortunately, Miss Utah’s error was very public. I’m confident she will use this experience and learn from it. Hopefully with all the attention she’s getting … she can turn this negative into a positive.”

Watch Miss Utah’s answer below.