A dethroned beauty queen from Myanmar says she would not return her US$100,000 crown until the pageant’s organisers apologise for calling her a liar and a thief.
May Myat Noe, the this year Miss Asia Pacific World winner, insisted at a press conference on Tuesday that she had done nothing wrong.
She denied accepting breast implants, as claimed by David Kim, director of media for the South Korea-based pageant. He said the surgery was provided free of charge to help boost her into superstardom.
Kim said the teen was stripped of her title because she was dishonest and unappreciative, and that she ran off with her bejeweled tiara.
May Myat Noe says that she boarded a plane for Myanmar without realising she had been dethroned.
Earlier, Hla Nu Tun, who initially acted as her unofficial manager, said Noe and the organisers had disagreed over who should oversee her career. Noe’s mother wanted control but so did the organisers, she said.
A half-century of military rule and self-imposed isolation kept Myanmar contestants off the stage of international beauty contests until 2012. When Noe was crowned in May, it was seen as a new beginning for young, talented beauties.
Following her victory, the organisers said they would arrange singing and video deals for her. But they also wanted to change the 1.7-metre-tall teen’s looks, organiser David Kim said.
One of the pageant’s primary goals, he said, was to turn winners into regional superstars: actresses, pop icons, and world-class models.
It was decided that May Myat Noe’s breasts needed enhancement. “We thought she should be more beautiful … so we sent her to the hospital to operate on her breasts,” Kim said, adding that sponsors picked up the US$10,000 tab, as they had for previous winners.
“It’s our responsibility,” he said. “If she has no good nose, then maybe, if she likes, we can operate on her nose. If it’s breasts, then breasts.”
Kim said that troubles started from there, with the beauty queen bringing her mother to Seoul for what was supposed to be a 10-day visit but stretched into three months.