Dethroned Myanmar beauty queen and pageant officials tussle over tiara

YANGON Wed Sep 3, 2014 4:03am EDT

1 of 4. Myanmar's former beauty queen May Myat Noe gives a news conference, seated next to the 2014 Miss Asia Pacific World crown, at a restaurant in Yangon September 2, 2014. REUTRS/Soe Zeya Tun


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YANGON (Reuters) - South Korean organizers of the Miss Asia Pacific World pageant threatened to call in the police on Wednesday in their row with dethroned Myanmar beauty queen May Myat Noe, demanding she return a gem-studded tiara from her home country.

Pageant founder Choi Youn accused May Myat Noe of absconding with the tiara, which media have said is worth $100,000 and which she won in South Korea in May, becoming Myanmar's first international beauty queen.

She was dethroned because she was ungrateful, untrustworthy and had lied, the pageant organizers said in a statement reported by Asian media.

"It is now a matter of national image and reputation and she should be held accountable for (the tiara)," Choi told Reuters in Seoul.

He said organizers planned to file a complaint with police.

May Myat Noe told a packed news conference on Tuesday in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, that she was still queen when she returned home with the tiara. It was only after arriving back home that she received a letter informing her she had been dethroned.

May Myat Noe added that she would give back the tiara only after receiving an apology from organizers who she said had spread lies about her that "damaged the integrity of my country".

"Once such remorse becomes apparent, I shall return the crown willingly, without trace of reservation," she said.

May Myat Noe accused the pageant's organizers in Myanmar of falsifying her age from 16 to 18. She said organizers in South Korea attempted to coerce her into having breast augmentation surgery, but she refused.

Among other allegations, May Myat Noe said organizers told her she would need to "escort some business tycoons whenever they require my company" in order to raise money to produce her music album,

Choi denied the allegations.

“It is flat no," he said. "It is not true.”

Choi said the former beauty queen had chosen to undergo surgery in Busan on Aug. 20 and was legally allowed to do so despite her age, because her mother had consented.

He accused May Myat Noe of lying about her age on her application, but said organizers allowed her to participate anyway once they discovered she was actually 16.

Fans of the former beauty queen have posted messages of support on her Facebook page.

"Sue them for defaming sis!" posted Vivienne Wang. "You are naturally gorgeously beautiful! You do not need a single plastic surgery whatsoever!"

"The truth is on your side," posted Lwan Chit Wai.

Some Facebook users were less supportive.

"Just return the tiara and stop all this nonsense in your life," posted Mi Mi Naing.

(Reporting by Aye Win Myint in YANGON and narae Kim in SEOUL. Writing by Jared Ferrie; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Comments (1)
damiang9 wrote:
I just want to correct you on thing comment here…

You said… “”Some Facebook users were less supportive.” and you quoted the comment of Mi Mi Naing who wrote “”Just return the tiara and stop all this nonsense in your life…”.

What she wants to say is… “Don’t bother about keeping the crown from that sick organization. it’s not worth it. as long as you have something to do with them, your life will be like in hell. (it’s not worth fighting for this nonsense and meaningless fame).

The commentor is genuinely and morally concerned for the model. It’s “NOT BEING UNSUPPORTIVE.” Pls reedit your article. I asked and clarify the with commentor herself… Thanks!

Sep 04, 2014 6:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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