Yangon - A dethroned beauty queen from Myanmar said on Tuesday she wouldn’t return her bejewelled $100 000 crown until pageant organisers apologise for calling her a liar and a thief.
May Myat Noe - the 2014 Miss Asia Pacific World winner - told a news conference that she had done nothing wrong to cause her to be dethroned.
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, part of efforts to boost the teen into super-stardom.
Kim said she was stripped of her title last week because she was dishonest and unappreciative - and that she ran off with her tiara.
Noe fought back on Tuesday.
She said she boarded a plane for Myanmar before learning that she had been dethroned.
While she had no interest in keeping the crown, she was not going to give it back without a “sorry”.
“I'm not even proud of this crown,” she said after opening a blue box and placing the tiara on the table in front of her.
“I don't want a crown from an organisation with such a bad reputation.”
“But I won't give it back to the Koreans unless they apologise,” she said. “Not just to me but my country for giving it a bad image.”
The Miss Asia Pacific World pageant, now in its fourth year, is no stranger to controversy.
In 2011, Wales representative Amy Willerton and several other contestants alleged the contest had been fixed after the young woman representing Venezuela was apparently named runner-up of the talent round before competing.
The argument with organisers - captured on video and uploaded to YouTube under the title “Confessions of a Beauty Queen” - was widely circulated in the pageant community.
Some of the contestants also on the tape accused officials of asking the women for sex in return for higher placement in the contest, and charged that the police called into investigate the allegations were bribed.
Those allegations were denied by Kim.
“It is not true that the girls were sleeping with the organisers or the director,” he said. “The police already announced that these were just rumours. We checked everything, the CCTV in the hotel, everything. It was just rumours.” - Sapa-AP