Dethroned Miss Asia Pacific World winner May Myat Noe is refusing to return her jewel-encrusted crown worth U$100,000 [A$108,000] until pageant organisers apologise to her for calling her a liar and a thief. The Burmese beauty flew back to her country from South Korea after apparently rejecting their offer of a breast enhancement surgery.
Noe, 15, won the crown in May, but was stripped off of her title last week for being a “liar and a thief,” according to the organisers.
David Kim, director of media for the pageant in Seoul, claimed that Now was a “disappointment from the start” as she was “rude and dishonest” with pageant officials.
She apparently vanished from the competition after the organisers told her to undergo breast enhancement surgery, the cost of which would be shouldered by the pageant’s sponsors.
“We thought she should be more beautiful ... so as soon as she arrived we sent her to the hospital to operate on her breasts,” Kim said. “It’s our responsibility ... If she has no good nose, then maybe, if she likes, we can operate on her nose. If it’s breasts, then breasts.”
He alleged that Noe’s mother, who was in the country for a 10-day visit, stayed for three months, which incurred extra costs to the organisers. She also “lied” and was disrespectful to the organisers, the media and fans.
Kim added that the organisers had arranged singing and video deals for her as well.
“Everyone knows she is no longer the queen, but she thinks as long as she keeps this crown she’s the winner. She’s not.”
On Tuesday, Noe fought back against the allegations, telling a news conference that they had dethroned for no reason.
She denied accepting the breast implants, and claimed that she did not even know that she had been dethroned before she boarded a plane for Myanmar.
“I’m not even proud of this crown,” she said. “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.
“Not just to me but my country for giving it a bad image.”
She also addressed the real reasons for her leaving on her Facebook account.
“I was put under duress to undergo a head to toe cosmetic surgery which I refused,” she enumerated her reasons.
“My mother, who was there with three months visa, was forced to leave Korea on pain of termination of my contract even though the very contract stipulates my family can stay over.
“I was given a strong impression that I should leave Korea for a while, without my mother, to Japan for a few days with no apparent reason but just to extend my Korean visa.
“I was told that, in order to generate funds to produce my music album, I need to accept invitations to escort some business tycoons whenever they require my company.”
She added that the national directors of the pageant changed her age from 16 to 18 even though that the pageant rules explicitly state that contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 27 years old. Her birth date is Oct 13, 1998, which would make her just 15 at the time of the competition.
This isn’t the first time the Miss Asia Pacific World pageant has been plagued with controversy.
In 2011, Amy Willerton from Wales, Aletha Shepherd of Guyana and Pamela Peralta of Costa Rica walked out of the competition after a young woman from Venezuela was named runner-up even without entering the pageant. The video of their argument with the organisers had become viral online.