PRINCIPALS of Miss Universe Jamaica (MUJ) franchise say the brand’s reputation is intact despite the unprecedented move to strip winner Sharlene Radlein of her crown.
“It is more of a correction and repairing process. She damaged the brand when she brought the lawsuit forward knowing that the attorneys were in discussions for an amicable settlement. But her being stripped of the title won’t affect us at all,” co-franchise holder Mark McDermoth told the Jamaica Observer.
He added that Radlein’s actions were “inconsistent with the culture of the pageant”.
Last month, the United States-based beauty queen filed a lawsuit in Jamaica’s Supreme Court to secure her prizes for winning the contest.
McDermoth said payments were up to date and the final instalment will be made this month.
With the 2016 coronation scheduled for August 27 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, McDermoth is uncertain if Radlein will be replaced before the new queen is crowned.
“We can’t say just yet, as it is in the hands of the attorneys and the MUJ administration,” he said.
McDermoth added that plans are full speed ahead for this year’s pageant which has 23 contestants.
“We know for a fact that this year is going to be a good one. Any of the contestants here can take the Miss Universe crown or get a good placement in the pageant,” he said.
On Saturday, the finalists will head to Montego Bay for the MUJ Charity Explosion which will honour 2013 winner Shakira Martin who died recently.
“We are adopting her sickle cell foundation and continuing where she left off. Other charities will also be featured. It’s just business for us as usual,” he said.